Fast Food and Childhood Obesity

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Story Updated: Jan 28, 2014

Study finds it's a small part of a much bigger problem.

Fast food is to blame for rising rates of childhood obesity right? Maybe not! New research suggests fast food consumption is not the only diet demon but rather a small part of a much bigger problem bad eating habits that begin at home at a young age. The study used dietary data gathered from nearly 45-hundred children between 2007 and 2010. All of the kids were 2 to 18 years of age.

The data included questions on dietary intake and where food was purchased. The researchers then determined which factors were most related to risk for obesity

Here's how fast food ranked in overall diet. 50-percent of the kids were classified as non-consumers. 40-percent were low consumers, meaning they got 30-percent or less of their calories from fast food. Just 10-percent were considered high consumers...those who got more than 30 percent of their calories from fast food.

The findings suggest that overall diet is more strongly linked to poor nutrition and obesity than fast food consumption though the researchers stress that reducing fast-food intake is important. About 1 in 3 American children is currently considered overweight or obese.

I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV with news from today that can lead to healthy tomorrows.

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