I dont think this will come as a huge surprise to some people but many restaurant meals designed especially for kids contain way too much salt, calories and fat. What is surprising is how loaded some of these menu items really are. No caring parent wants their child to eat unhealthy foods and probably believe that a kids menu item is going to be a reasonable amount of calories and sodium. How bad can such a smaller meal be?
According to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), pretty bad.
The CSPI has long monitored the publics nutritional interest. They campaigned to bar sodium nitrates in bacon and other cured meats, pushed for sodium levels to be added to all food labels, obtained funding for more government food inspectors and prompted Congress to pass a law requiring notification of the presence of food allergens such as peanuts, wheat and milk on food labels to name just a few.
Now theyve turned to restaurant kids menu items. The group found that among almost 3,500 combinations surveyed, kids meals failed to meet nutritional standards 97% of the time. Thats actually an improvement though over 2008 - when meals failed to meet standards 99% of the time. Not much of a change in 5 years.
What were some of the restaurants surveyed? Popular chains such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dairy Queen, Hardee's, McDonald's, Panda Express, Perkins Family Restaurants and Popeyes.
Every kids meal fell-short of nutritional recommendations adopted by the center from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
They also didnt meet the standards set by the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell Program, said the CSPI, which titled its study, "Kids' Meals: Obesity on the Menu."
"Most chains seem stuck in a time warp, serving up the same old meals based on chicken nuggets, burgers, macaroni and cheese, fries, and soda," said Margo Wootan, CSPI nutrition policy director. "It's like the restaurant industry didn