Study says U.S. kids eating less fast food

American kids appear to be eating less fast food. A study published in JAMA Pediatrics reports the percentage of children eating fast food on any given day has decreased during the past 10 years.

For the study, the trends in calorie consumption by children by fast food restaurant type were analyzed using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2010. The data included locations of origin for all foods and beverages.

The number of children who ate at burger restaurants was constant. However, the number of children eating at chicken and pizza restaurants dipped from 12.2 percent in 2003-2004 to 6.4 percent in 2009-2010. No segment in the fast food market increased in calorie consumption throughout the eight-year study.  Overall, it was found that the number of children ages 4 to 19 eating fast food on any given day decreased from 38.8 percent in 2003-2004 to 32.6 percent in 2009-2010. The number of calories kids consumed from burger, chicken and pizza fast food restaurants decreased during this period, whereas the number of calories from Mexican and sandwich fast food restaurants remained the same.

The study was funded by a research grant from McDonald's Corporation.

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