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Fast Food Chains Are Adjusting Menus For Children’s Health

PDA’s Bergen County NJ Kids Dental Care

It’s no secret that the United States, for years now, has been dealing with an obesity epidemic. We’ve earned ourselves the reputation of being among the countries with the highest percentage of overweight individuals in the world. And with good reason too. In 2012, nearly 10% of the U.S. population had diabetes and those numbers have only worsened in the years that followed. For all the wonderful liberties we have in this country, there’s no denying that we have a tendency to lean towards excess. Especially with regards to sugar consumption.

The Kids

What’s most concerning about this crisis is that those of our society who are most at risk are the youth. It seems cultural norms and influential advertising have left parents across the nation with a deck stacked against them. For as long as fast food has had its stronghold on American society, parents have struggled to instill healthy diets into their sons and daughters.

The Source Of The Issue

What’s most damaging about the diet of children who frequently consume fast food is the amount of sugar in their beverages. One study found that the average calorie intake increased by as much as 60% in recent years.

The Consequences

Obesity can lead to severe social and physical repercussions. As a parent, you may notice that your child has trouble making friends at school. You run the risk of him or her developing diabetes at an early age. Diets with heavy sugar intake also raise the possibility of a child developing diabetes later in life. And of course, a poor diet also raises the likelihood of the child damaging his or her teeth. Not only does this make your child more vulnerable to cavities in the present, but also teaches your child bad habits that will get worse as he or she grows older.

A Step In The Right Direction

But not all hope is lost. For the first time, fast food chains are beginning to respond to the crisis and make adjustments to their menus. McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King have all removed soft drinks from their kids’ meals. No longer will you find sugary sodas and other fountain drinks on any online or in-store menus for kids. Albeit, if you specifically request a soda with the meal, they will serve it to you. But the important thing is that you no longer have to ask not to have the soda.

Cultural Implications

The hope is that by not including sodas automatically in meals, the temptation to order them will fade over time. In a capitalist society like the United States, culture grows from the companies with the most effective advertising campaigns. So the fact that fast food chains have determined that adjusting their menus to benefit our children as a profitable move could be a huge step forward for American culture as a whole.

Make sure that your child gets the dental care that he or she deserves. Find out more about how you can give your child the whitest smile in the neighborhood by calling Pediatric Dental Associates Ridgewood at 201-652-7020 and asking about our Bergen County NJ kids dental care services.