Your Kid Is Probably Eating Too Much Fast Food

On a scale of one to 10, how often would you say you cooked at home -- and we're not talking about reheating takeout and putting it on a fancy plate? According to the CDC, your answer likely isn't enough as a little more than 1 in 3 kids ages 2-19 eat fast food on any given day.


As you might've guessed, this can be a very big problem considering childhood obesity has more than doubled in kids in this country (the numbers are even higher for teens). We don't have to run down the long list of health hazards that come with being overweight (there's more than enough content in that department).

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While it's great to stay up-to-date on things that can affect us, does a study like this sway you on how much your family eats out?

Sure, all of us should be good mommies and daddies like these researchers want us to be and cook more at home -- but guess what, the days of whipping up a meal seven days a week aren't a reality for everyone. There are so many factors that range from demanding jobs, work commute and your child's after-school schedule that can prevent you from "getting it on" with Mr. Oven or Señor Stove Top -- and this doesn't even factor in the days you're at home and just tired (it happens).

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Can I be honest with you? I cook three times a week (we have Sunday dinners, I'll cook again on Monday, and then Wednesday) and still eat out. Don't get me wrong, I'll make enough food to last through the week (I need to kiss the feet of the person who made the slow-cooker. Thank you!), but my brood and I eat out on Fridays (that's technically date night for my husband and I that often translates to who's going to pick up Subway so we can get this party started at home...when the kids aren't bugging us?) and Saturdays when we're out and about. Shoot, catch me in my feelings and I might pick up a big salad from somewhere after the gym (don't judge, it has bacon in it) just because I don't feel like taking out all that Tupperware and nuking my meal when I finally make it home.

I think we all get that eating at home is the goal, as too much of a delicious thing through a drive-thru window can be very bad for you. Thankfully, regulations just might make fast food healthier these days -- which can be a sigh of relief to the mom who doesn't have as much time as she'd like to dedicate to cooking throughout the week.

More from The Stir: How to Make Healthy Fast Food Choices

I think the moral of the story is to do what you can and make healthy decisions -- including the foods you choose to eat at home (those can often get overlooked). If a study like this doesn't persuade you to rethink how much you eat out, consider taking a look at your bank account. All of those quick meals sure do add up.

Image via © Sue Barr/Corbis

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