I-Search: Fast-Food and Childhood Obesity

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Genna Smith
I-Search Rough Draft
Introduction
In the past decade there has been a rise of obesity in children. I believe along with many credible sources that a lot of the reoccurring obesity problems we face with children have to do with fast food. You could almost say that fast food is kind of like a drug for kids. It is always fun to go out to eat as well as take in food that is high in calories and saturated fat. Although fast food may be a large factor in childhood obesity, it is also safe to say that it’s not the only factor. Are we placing too much blame on the fast food industry for making our kids obese, or is it our fault as parents and caregivers? Fast Food Then and Now

Compared to how fast food chains functioned when they first opened and how they operate now you will see a huge difference; not only in their food selection but also in the portion sizes. For example, when McDonald’s first opened in 1955 their cheeseburger was only 1.6 ounces and now you can get a cheeseburger for almost 8 ounces (Monte, 2008). The sizes are almost a 400 calorie increase—400 calories could be more than one whole meal for a child. Every year portion sizes are essentially getting larger and larger. A small now would have been a medium just five years ago (White, n.d.).

Not only have the portion sizes gotten larger but so has the menu. Fast food chains now have been offering smoothies, sundaes, pie slices, and even cinnamon rolls. They offer more menu options that offer more calories and saturated fats. Along with these they have also gotten better with offering some healthy options too like apples and low fat milk, but who goes to a fast food restaurant to get apples and milk? There are 3,039 possible kids’ meal combinations and out of that only 12 combinations meet the nutrition criteria for preschooler’s and 15 for all other children (Oren & Dodson, 2010). The only kind of company who would essentially poison children like that is ones who are...
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