Despite fast food restaurants’ attempts to provide healthier options, 74 percent of kids who visit the four largest chains get unhealthy drinks or sides with their kids’ meals, according to a survey conducted at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut (UCONN) in Hartford.
The researchers surveyed about 800 parents of children ages 2 to 11 in 2010, 2013, and 2016 about what they ordered for their children in the past week from McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, or Subway. Since 2010, these fast food chains have offered healthier options like fruit, yogurt, 100 percent juice, low-fat milk, and water, in addition to sugary sodas and sides that are high in fat and sodium like French fries.
According to the researchers, Subway was the only one of the four fast-food restaurant chain that voluntarily includes healthier side and drink options with kids' meals nationwide. Some cities have passed or are considering legislation requiring restaurants to provide healthier drinks as automatic, default options with their kids’ meals. In Louisville, KY, a new law requires a healthier drink, fruit, vegetable, whole grain, or lean protein as part of kids' meals.
Results of this study also suggest that kids are eating fast food more often. In 2010, 79 percent of parents surveyed reported having purchased fast food for their children within the previous week. In 2016, that percentage had risen to 91 percent.
Sourced from: [UCONN Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity](http://www.uconnruddcenter.org/files/Pdfs/272-9 _ Rudd_Healthier Kids Meals Report_Final Round_Web-150dpi_080117.pdf)