TEEN HEALTH Published September16, 2015 By Milafel Hope Dacanay

Over 30% of US Teens and Kids Eat Fast Food Every Day

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We probably know that children and teens love fast food, but just how much? A new report says more than 30% of them eat fast food on a daily basis.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) under Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released a new report on Wednesday, Sept 16, on a 2011-2012 health survey about fast food consumption among children and teens between the ages of 2 and 19.

Upon analyses of the survey data, at least 65% said they had not consumed food. But the remaining respondents did at least 11% saying less than 25% calories came from fast food, which also included pizza. Twelve percent of them, meanwhile, obtained more than 40% of their total daily calories from fast food. There percentages hardly changed for both girls and boys.

Based on ages, respondents from 12 to 19 years old consumed calories twice as much as the younger children, who consumed 8.7% calories from fast food.

With regard to ethnic origin, the biggest consumers of fast food were non-Hispanic blacks followed by non-Hispanic whites. Hispanics got 11% of their calories from fast food while non-Hispanic Asians consumed only 8%, making them the lowest eaters in the group.

Social status didn't have any impact on fast food caloric consumption whether among the young children or the teens. Weight status also had no significant effect.

If there's any good news, it's that the figures are relatively similar to those of 1990 report. This may coincide with the CDC statistics on childhood obesity, which suggests prevalence within the age group is stable.

Nevertheless, the number is still too high and that childhood obesity remains a significant problem in the country. Children who are classified as overweight or obese are at a higher risk of impaired mental and social well-being, sleep apnea, high blood pressure, diabetes, and joint problems.  

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