5 Kids Meals With Adult-Size Calories, Fat

Next time you’re grabbing some breakfast with your children at McDonald’s, Wendy’s or Burger King, you might want to pay attention to the nutritional information for the kids meals you order. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine just released its list of the Five Worst Fast Food Meals to highlight those G-rated meals with R-rated calorie counts.

“Kids shouldn’t have to dodge cholesterol bombs packaged in colorful, toy-filled boxes,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “We’re losing the war against childhood obesity, but fast-food chains are still making obscene profits by targeting children with high-fat meals.”

Without further ado, here is the PCRM’s list:

McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal: Double Cheeseburger, French fries, and chocolate milk (840 calories; 37 grams of fat)

2nd Worst
Wendy’s Kids’ Meal: Chicken Sandwich, French fries, and chocolate Frosty (770 calories; 34 grams of fat)

3rd Worst
KFC Kids Meal: Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese, and soda (800 calories; 1,800 milligrams of sodium)

4th Worst
A&W Kids Meal: Cheeseburger, French fries, and soda (780 calories; 9 grams of saturated fat)

5th Worst
Burger King’s BK Kids: Breakfast muffin sandwich meal (95 milligrams of cholesterol; exceeds recommended limit on sodium intake)

McDonald’s, Wendy’s Top List of Five Worst Fast-Food Kids Meals [PCRM]

San Francisco Hates Your Happy Meals
McDonald’s: We’re Not Strangers In The Playground Handing Out Candy To Kids
CSPI Wants To Make Your McDonald’s Happy Meal Sad


Edit Your Comment

  1. c!tizen says:

    Or if you’re concerned about calories make them food at home or buy them a piece of fruit.

    Fast food places aren’t health food stores, never have been, never should be… move on with life.

    • Leksi Wit says:


    • aloria says:

      Really. Anyone dumb enough to not know that fast food should be an occasional (and by that I mean extremely rare) treat probably shouldn’t be left in charge of children.

    • Dyscord says:

      Exactly. No one sensible feeds their kids nothing but fast food. Growing up, we had mcdonalds maybe twice a month, depending. Also, most kids are pretty active in one way or another.All this whining about calories is REALLY frickin annoying at this point.

    • Conformist138 says:

      Agreed. Though, I support posting calorie info on menus and am glad that some chains are being proactive about it.

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      Sure – it’s something that any smart parent will make sure only happens occassionally, but it would be nice if the meals were healthier for those occasions.

      I eat fast food three or four times a year, usually not planned, and I’d love to have something that tasted good and was also healthy to eat.

  2. Leksi Wit says:

    Parents/guardians who still feed their kids food from fast food joints are morons.

    • zandar says:

      Or on the road in the middle of nowhere with nothing decent in range anywhere near lunchtime. Who’s the bigger moron- the parent who caves and goes to McDs, or the parent who gives their kids nothing for lunch?

      • mythago says:

        Or the parent who assumes that because a restaurant is not fast food and costs more, that its offerings are definitely healthier.

      • trey says:

        both are morons… they should have packed a cooler with lunch since they knew they were going to be in the middle of nowhere around lunch time.

      • zandar says:

        my point being it’s not unhealthy in moderation. Just don’t feed it to them every dang day.

      • scoccaro says:

        Or the parent like mine who got out of bed 5 minutes earlier to pack a sandwich and apple slices for me to eat in the car…

        • mythago says:

          “Mom, I’m hungry.”

          “Eat your sandwich and apple slices.”

          “But I already ate all those and I’m hungry again!”

    • econobiker says:

      I challenge you to remove at least 2 car seated children from a car, pilot them into a restaurant, sit down, maintain order, eat/feed them, and then pilot them back into their car seats and remain sane while doing it in under 1/2 hour…

      Or use the drive through.

      Yup an unintended consequence of child safety seats for cars.

    • Sneeje says:

      Right, because it would be better to raise children who are so neurotic about food that they develop disorders later in life. How about instead, teaching that everything is in moderation? Despite your ignorant proclamation, I will not feel bad about letting my kids have McDonald’s once/month as a treat. Especially when they get the apples and not the fries.

      • zandar says:

        which, by the way, are not great, and I love apples. something about swimming in a bag full of a solution of..? to keep them nice and white all day I bet. Yum, chemical-y!

      • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

        His proclamation is no more ignorant than yours, since you both made gross generalizations. Denying your children ANY fast food is not going to cause them disorders. Slapping unhealthy food out of their hands and telling them they’re fat will. If parents took more time to answer the question (assuming they understand it themselves) of “why can’t I eat McDonald’s”, you would have children growing up much more aware of what makes a healthy food choice.

        You’re just as bad claiming food disorders are caused by telling kids what not to eat. Have you taken a single class on psychology or ever visited a dietitian? Do you have friends with eating disorders? Do you know what makes them tick?

        Barbies, peers, media; these things will give you disorders, not f-ing lack of comfort food!

        • Sneeje says:

          Ok, fair enough. I responded to arrogance and ignorance in kind. Sorry. I think my words say something slightly different though–I made no proclamation, just created a strawman from what he/she said. Still wrong.

          I admit I am annoyed with what was said. I do exactly as you suggest with my kids, which is try very hard to explain the why behind the can’t or shouldn’t. In my house, we call it “making good or bad food choices.”

          And yes, I do have training in psychology, not sure why that’s relevant. I can understand human psychology without being formally trained in it. Appeal to false authority perhaps?

          • PunditGuy says:

            > Right, because it would be better to raise children
            > who are so neurotic about food that they develop
            > disorders later in life.

            ^ Why the comment was relevant, and not a logical fallacy.

          • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

            Perhaps :) I’ve had two long term relationships with women who had children of school age. One was all for explaining/educating her children on why “no” was the answer, the other never explained anything to her son. Guess which one’s children were more respectful and easier to say no to?

            Anyway, basic psychology and sociology, as you know, teaches how environment effects us. It’s not saying “no”, it’s how you say it and if you can back up your reasons. Children have to explain themselves to adults for actions (in most cases) whether in school or at home. It’s only natural that they would want an explanation for our actions, lest they become confused.

            While I love the movie “Matilda”, I think the “I’m smart, you’re dumb. I’m big, you’re little. I’m right, you’re wrong.”- speech would not result in such a well-adjusted child. We’re losing touch with our kids and listening to the media stories on how we should treat them is just making it worse. “No,” a brief explanation, and consequences for blatant non-compliance would go a long way with most children.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I agree that any parent/guardian who thinks that replacing 3 or more meals a week with fast food is a good idea for their children, is indeed a moron. When I was growing up, I lived in a town with NO fast food chains. We had McDonalds or the like only 3-4 times per year. 25 years ago, my parents, and most, still had the common sense that feeding your kids fast food was about as smart as giving them ice-cream for dinner.

      It’s not just that there is fast food available, it’s that at some point people started thinking that it was fine to replace any meal with it. It also doesn’t help that in bigger cities you have 5-6 fast food options per arterial thoroughfare.

    • shepd says:

      People who think this only applies to fast food are ignorant of the facts (Most major non-fast-food restaurant meals have more calories than similarly sized fast food meals, look it up).

      And, so, we now come to the only thing that satisfies everything: Pack a lunch. But parents are people too and they will forget, and it’s not like it will hurt children even in the slightest to eat something unhealthy once in a while.

  3. aloria says:

    What are the nutritional requirements for a child? My first reaction is that they’d be a lot lower than an adult, but on the other hand, I would think since they are still growing, this may not be the case.

    All that fat and sodium is still pretty obscene, though.

    • Sneeje says:

      Roughly 1200 calories/day for a

      • Sneeje says:

        oops, comment fail. That should have been “Roughly 1200 calories/day for a less than 8 yr old, but that obviously grows with age.”

    • The Porkchop Express says:

      I would think, if they have the lifestyle I had as a kid, the caloric intake could be a bit more than us cubicle dwelling adults. The sodium intake though….

  4. Robofish says:

    As a non parent and from my limited perspective, I say this stuff is ok in moderation like anything else bad for you. Just eat at home. Though I realize when you are in a pinch or on a road trip sometimes these are just easier options.

  5. GuidedByLemons says:

    The calories and saturated fat matter; the sodium and cholesterol don’t.

    +1 for “parents shouldn’t feed their kids this crap”.

    • mythago says:

      Why do you think the sodium doesn’t matter?

      • foodierd says:

        Sodium, alone, isn’t a horrible thing. However, in the food system that we have created, it is usually just a very good indicator of highly processed nutrient-void foods. Like sugar substitutes, it is training our tastebuds that our foods need to be salty to taste good which leads to bad habits down the road.

        • Alessar says:

          I think this is a great point. To sum it up, let’s aim to keep kids eating healthy, within USDA guidelines so they build good habits for life.

      • GuidedByLemons says:

        It matters for people who are sodium-sensitive–for whom high sodium intake causes high blood pressure–which most people are not. Children are particularly unlikely to have blood pressure issues. Unless a doctor has advised you that you need to follow a low-sodium diet to manage your blood pressure, it’s unlikely that you should care even a little bit about your sodium intake.

        Basically, making a big deal out of the sodium content in any food is like making a big deal about the phenylalanine content: Sure, some people have PKU and cannot tolerate phenylalanine in their diet, but for most people it doesn’t matter.

        • mythago says:

          Eh, it’s a little different because people are or are not PKU-sensitive; but there is a RDA of sodium for kids, and excess sodium is a concern for people with a history of heart disease (plus it can be kinda hard on the kidneys).

          • GuidedByLemons says:

            There’s an RDA of cholesterol too, and we’ve known for many years now that cholesterol intake doesn’t matter. An RDA doesn’t exactly represent the pinnacle of modern medical understanding.

            As far as sodium intake guidelines, they are a little different than something like phenylalanine: enough people are sodium-sensitive that the people making the guidelines do so with the intent of reducing the prevalence of high blood pressure among those who are sensitive to sodium.

        • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

          They may not have blood pressure issues now, but how do you think they obtain them?

          History of high sodium intake = high blood pressure.

          • GuidedByLemons says:

            “History of high sodium intake = high blood pressure”

            [citation needed]

            I’m curious what mechanism you think there is here. Sodium doesn’t slowly build up in the body over the years. Consume no sodium today and the level of sodium in your bloodstream will have dropped substantially by tomorrow. If you develop high blood pressure that is affected by sodium, you can simply reduce your sodium intake after the fact.

            • Anonymously says:
              • GuidedByLemons says:

                Thank you for the link. Let me emphasize something, though: “Our meta-analysis demonstrates that a modest reduction in salt intake for a duration of 4 or more weeks has a significant and, from a population viewpoint, important effect on blood pressure in both individuals with normal and elevated blood pressure.”

                What they’re saying is that a very large population-wide reduction in sodium intake should reduce the population-wide incidence of medical complications related to high blood pressure. Note the numbers: for a massive reduction in sodium intake (over 4g/day!) people with normal blood pressure saw a decrease of only 1-2 mmHg on average. As someone with normal blood pressure, I would not make the substantial dietary sacrifice required to remove that much sodium from my diet for such a tiny medical benefit.

                Do note also that there’s nothing here that says a history of high sodium intake somehow “builds up” to high blood pressure over time, which is the claim Loias was making.

  6. BuyerOfGoods3 says:

    Well — as a kid who got fed a Lot of fast food, I’d say DO NOT feed your kid fast food all the time. I’m still not able to get over the fat, sodium and grease cravings.

    :) They’ll appreciate it later, when they’re not being teased and tormented in school.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      Same here. I grew up on McDonald’s, BK, Dunkin Donuts, snack cakes, etc. & now I’m 30 lbs overweight with pre-diabetes because I can’t drop the weight. I don’t eat that crap anymore but it’s like my body is conditioned to hang on to every fat cell it can. And my mom still says it’s all my fault that I got chubby to begin with. She says she HAD to buy me all that junk because *I* wanted it! I guess saying no to a ignorant kid who’s never even heard of fat, calories, or cholesterol wasn’t an option. Better to just let her eat whatever she wants even though she’ll get fat & be made fun of at school. THANKS MOM.

      My mom is doing the same shit to my 6 y/o sister now. I’m considering kidnapping her.

  7. PanCake BuTT says:

    Stay greasy America !

  8. Southern says:

    It’ll only be a matter of time before they make it illegal to buy these kinds of meals.

    I pity my childrens children.. They’ll never know what it was like to have grown up in a semi-free society.

    • mythago says:

      Don’t worry. Your children’s children will someday be bitching about how coddled and spoiled kids are today, unlike in their own childhoods.

  9. mythago says:

    PCRM is not exactly a neutral group with a purely pro-consumer focus. I’m hardly a McDonald’s booster, but this is a bit like using PETA as a resource for whether Big Macs are good for you.

    • Stickdude says:

      Yep. As soon as I see the phrase “obscene profits” in a statement, I pretty much assume the speaker has some kind of agenda (that usually involves using government force to reduce those profits somehow).

    • myCatCracksMeUp says:

      But are their facts wrong in this case?

  10. BrianneG says:

    As an adult, I often eat children’s meals to fast food restaurants. I just don’t pick the frosty, chocolate milk, or french fries. A single hamburger, apple slices, and white milk is relatively health and cheap. And much better for me than the adult options.

    • mythago says:

      Same here. When I’m traveling, fast food is often the only thing at the airport that doesn’t cost three times as much as in the real world. A kids’ meal is about the right amount of food and doesn’t cost my employer or my client $20 for a sandwich and drink.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      that what I do it…except I get the juice instead of the milk. kids meal are adult’s serving size. adults meal are way too big, that is why Americans are fat.

      And it’s not McDonald’s fault that parents aren’t well inform. It isn’t their job to teach parents what to feed their kids. McDonald has the calories info on the menu and more info on their website. Parent has the ability to access these info and learn what they should and shouldn’t feed their kids.

      Heck, I was even at a supermarket when I saw a kid trying to get ask their parent to buy candy at the checkout line…the parent response was “We’ll swing by [fast food] and grab your some fries”…

      I saw one of the food documentary and the parent was complaining that they don’t have time to make healthy food for their kids and it’s just easier and cheaper for them to swing by a fast food place… at the same time, I’m thinking, you swing by a supermarket, pick up a fruit or two, head out to the self check out line, it’s a lot cheaper and doesn’t take that long!!

      • smo0 says:

        “I saw one of the food documentary and the parent was complaining that they don’t have time to make healthy food for their kids and it’s just easier and cheaper for them to swing by a fast food place… at the same time, I’m thinking, you swing by a supermarket, pick up a fruit or two, head out to the self check out line, it’s a lot cheaper and doesn’t take that long!! “

        That’s it… right there….

        Parents aren’t taking the time…. seriously, furthers my point that this starts with the parent…

      • mythago says:

        I’m thinking, the kid eats and apple or a banana and they’ll be hungry very shortly afterward. Fries are much more filling because of the starch and grease.

        Mind you, I’m not saying fries are a great food choice.

    • Anri says:

      These aren’t particularly healthy meals for adults either.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I order the kid’s meal as well when I want a burger and fries from Wendy’s. I normally just order a burger and no fries. Sometimes I want both though and cannot justify a huge burger and a pile of fries.

      I am astonished that people actually eat a huge burger, a large fry and a large drink. Gross.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I can’t hardly even finish a kids’ meal by myself. I eat at McD’s maybe once a month, and when I do, I get a McDouble with pickles only & a large iced tea. This is plenty & keeps me full for hours. I can’t fathom eating a supersized big mac meal with a 44oz soda. Ouch, my heart hurts just thinking about it.

  11. mhutt says:

    I think fast food is at least offering some healthier options than when I was a kid. We always choose the apple fries/oranges/fruit cup for the kids but I don’t remember any of those options growing up. So at least they are improving the choices.

    • womynist says:

      Agreed. When I was a kid in the 80’s, McDonald’s Happy Meals came with a burger, fries, soda, and that little bag of McDonald’s cookies. I can only imagine how much trans fat was in those cookies. I don’t think they even sell them anymore.

      • kristinabeana says:

        I forgot about those cookies! They were not good. I did love the hot apple pies.

      • caradrake says:

        Actually, the ones around me (Tampa, FL) have started adding the small bag of cookies back into kids meals. I was surprised the first time I saw that. Not sure how long it has been going on or how widespread it is.

        They have a pretty nasty aftertaste in my opinion, but I think they were only around 40 calories for the package.

  12. rpm773 says:

    I’m in the camp with those who say “as long as McDonald’s is a very occasional treat, what difference does it make if the kids overindulge once every few months?”

    However, a couple points:
    – Why a double cheeseburger, instead of a regular cheeseburger?
    – Do they think that we think that the inclusion of dairy (eg, string cheese or chocolate milk), renders all other culinary transgressions null and void?

    To me, #2 and #4 are kosher. It’s fast food, it’s not good, but it’s nothing deceptive.

    #1 and #3 contain a “healthy” item, perhaps as a way to get parents to feel better about what the child is eating. And I think that’s deceptive, because it’s still garbage.

    • mythago says:

      Because PCRM is a pro-vegan group and wants to pick the worst examples of fast food.

    • Anri says:

      I don’t think any of that food is, technically, kosher, but #2 might, because I don’t know what additives Wendy’s uses for fries. =)

    • caradrake says:

      And why do they have a frosty for the Wendy’s meal? Are frosty’s now the norm?

      Take out the soda and replace it with water, and it’s not nearly as bad. On the occasional Tuesday or Thursday, when McDonald’s put their kids meals on sale for $1.99, I’ll get one for me and my two kids to split. It’s a nice treat, and because it’s being divided 3 ways, it’s not nearly as bad.

      • rpm773 says:

        I think Wendy’s has been trying to pass the Frosty off as a “drink” for nigh on a quarter century.

        While the categorization of a shake as a drink is debatable, the Frosty is clearly on the ice cream-end of the shake continuum.

  13. chaesar says:

    no kid needs a double-cheeseburger

    • mythago says:

      My teenager would STRONGLY disagree with you. In fact she would insist it be a BACON cheeseburger. No, she’s not obese.

      • ARP says:

        If she’s a teenager, then adult meals are probably more appropriate for her age, size, etc. Kids meals have toys, so by design, they’re intended for the under 12 crowd. I guess I could see a tween eating a double cheeseburger, but a 6 year old?

        • mythago says:

          The adult meals are even worse than the kids’ meals, but that aside, it depends on the particular kid. Some 6-year-olds are pretty skinny and could frankly use the extra calories and fat. Some are overweight and have an overall poor diet that needs adjusting.

        • SJActress says:

          Mighty Kids meals were invented for tweens, not sixes.

  14. smo0 says:

    I’m gonna tag the devil’s advocate role here… has this person looked at the complete menu for some of these places?

    I know for a fact wendy’s has alternative items like apples and yogurt for kid’s meals…

    The war on childhood obesity starts with the parent’s parenting.

    It seems like every article on this plays into the fact that parent’s just cannot say “NO” to their children… wtf is that.. is this a new thing? I was told “NO” all of the time in regards to unhealthy items aside from the occasional treat (which btw, McDonalds and the like was never considered a “treat”) and I was a bean pole up until college…..

    • Jeff_Number_3 says:

      I would think that the author knows about healthier choices on the menus, but since this is a ‘5 worst kids meals’ type article, the express purpose is to choose the unhealthiest options there are.

      An article that built the healthiest meals possible and then picked the 5 worst would grab much fewer eyeballs (though would be entertaining for the novelty value anyway).

      • mythago says:

        Correct. Particularly since the source of this article is an animal-rights organization that advocates a vegan diet.

        • smo0 says:

          I would advocate, eat whatever is best for you body type… what’s good for you may not be good for others…. I appreciate vegans and their cause… but over all… for some.. eating meat might be the best way for them to be healthy… it’s not for me.. (it’s actually not for quite a few people, some of which ignore it… but I wouldn’t hold to saying anything is 100% bad for everyone.)

          • mythago says:

            I’m not advocating for or against a particular diet. I’m observing that PCRM is not a neutral ratings group or one free of an agenda. Expecting them to present a fair article on fast food is like expecting PETA to evaluate a steakhouse.

            • smo0 says:

              Well … quoting a life lesson… “you earn more flies with honey…..” it seems that any group would have a bit more credence if they turned their cause into more of a compliment “sandwich….”

              People don’t understand that when you put the ball in the opposing party’s court… that’s where the real change happens….

  15. RayanneGraff says:

    My mom buys my 6 y/o sister Happy Meals all the time & claims that it’s good for her because the burger meat has “protein”, the fries are “vegetables”, and the melted milkshakes they call chocolate milk is “calcium”. She also feeds her Reese’s PB cups because “peanut butter is healthy!”.

    The child is doomed. If I thought I had a chance in hell of winning, I’d sue her for custody.

    • evnmorlo says:

      She’s probably better off than kids fed vegan diets by their yuppie parents. And at least she’ll have some happy childhood memories before she begins a lifetime of female anorexia

      • mythago says:

        No, she probably isn’t. Kids fed vegan diets by yuppie parents have lots of opportunities to sneak a cheese sandwich at school or at a friend’s house, and there are plenty of vegan meals that are healthy for kids (you know, like spaghetti and tomato sauce).

    • scoccaro says:

      is your mother obese as well? maybe that is how she shows love, by feeding, thats how my family is.

    • ellemdee says:

      My sister feeds her 1 (almost 2) year old nothing but fast food and hot dogs since he got his first tooth. I’ve never seen her give him fruits or veggies (unless she thinks popsicles and fries count). She just rolls her eyes or gets defensive if anyone suggests he needs more variety and more fruits & veggies. It’s very hard to get some people to choose nutrition over convenience.

      • mythago says:

        But it’s not that hard to cut up fruits and veggies vs. cutting up hot dogs….your sister baffles me. I mean, it’s not like she’s having to choose between spending hours making organic tofu snaffles vs. a hot dog.

    • ARP says:

      Here’s where the “personal responsibility” philosophy gets muddled to me. This kid doesn’t know anything about nutrition, only that it tastes good. The parent is ignorant, lazy, etc. (I realize this is insulting, but I don’t see away around it) and bordering on abuse by feeding their kid all that crap.

      There’s a good chance that the child will grow up with all sorts of health problems, which then cost of the rest of us money via higher insurance premiums, lost productivity, etc., let alone the personal suffering she may experience. At what point do we, as a society, have a right to step in and tell either the parent and/or the fast food industry, “you need to do things differently?” I’m not sure of my own views on this, but there seems to be a line.

      BTW- I’m sorry about your sister. I know it must break your heart to see it happen and feel helpless. The best thing you can do is try to encourage your mom to feed her better and try to feed her better yourself, when you have the opportunity. Maybe you should show her nutritional information on fast food and compare that to RDA’s. My guess is that at some level, she already knows, but it makes life easier to operate this way.

  16. econobiker says:

    I am an adult and have been eating the children’s meals just for this reason. I originally figured that the kid’s meal duplicates the basic adult meal when most of these places began in the 1950s etc. so this kind of gives proof of that…

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      I do that too, and I can’t eat the amount of food that goes into a regular-sized meal. Too many fries and the burger is too much.

  17. GuidedByLemons says:

    As far as the meal with a Frosty in it, I hate to be a party pooper, but a milkshake is not something anyone should ever eat except as an EXTREMELY occasional treat. Something many people fail to realize (because they’re marketed as drinks/side dishes) is that milkshakes have about the same calorie and saturated fat content as an equivalent amount of ice cream. Because that’s what they are: ice cream.

  18. ARP says:

    I read an article about historical portion sizes at fast food places. Basically, kids meals are what used to be adult meals in terms of portion sizes.

    • smo0 says:

      Yup.. portion size is out of control…

      • ARP says:

        So what’s to be done? I agree that most of the responsibility is on the parent to manage portion sizes, but I actually think that the restaurants have some responsibility clearly notify the public about how many servings of each category are being provided in their meals. 800mg of sodium may not mean much to people, but saying 3X your RDA of salt presumably would.

    • Blueberry Scone says:

      Agreed. I think that as a society, we have a distorted view of what’s a ‘serving size.’ Try comparing, say, a plate of pasta from Olive Garden with the recommended serving size. It’ll blow your mind.

    • Jeff_Number_3 says:

      Which is sort of fittng because now we have kids that weigh as much as adults used to.

  19. Andyb2260 says:

    I love how it’s now popular to demonize fast food places in the name of “Childhood Obesity” and yet let out the single most important(as I see it)thing related to the “problem”. Modern society. Video games, Computers, and TV play a much larger role in childhood obesity than Fast Food ever will.
    Kids are much more sedentary today than they were even 10 years ago.

    • econobiker says:

      Child safety seats also contribute to the issue. As the logistical pain in the neck for parents loading and unloading children grew so did drive through use.

  20. Andyb2260 says:

    I love how it’s now popular to demonize fast food places in the name of “Childhood Obesity” and yet let out the single most important(as I see it)thing related to the “problem”. Modern society. Video games, Computers, and TV play a much larger role in childhood obesity than Fast Food ever will.
    Kids are much more sedentary today than they were even 10 years ago.

    • Andyb2260 says:

      Sorry for the double post

    • dolemite says:

      Honestly, I don’t think it’s fair to demonize those things either. Growing up, I ate a lot, and I played a LOT of video games, and probably watched 2-3 hours of tv a day. But, I also played outside for at least 2-3 hours a day.

    • mythago says:

      “Kids are much more sedentary today than they were even 10 years ago. “

      I remember hearing the exact same thing when I was a kid. Due to TV, video games, MTV, etc etc etc we were all becoming blobs. Without a citation this is just fogey-grumbling.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        When I was a kid, we had recess in school and physical education classes five days a week.
        At my niece’s school, as well as at many other schools, to save money on the budget they’ve cut out the recess period and reduced PE classes. So yeah, I’d have to say that with the elimination of a five-day-a-week guaranteed recreation time I’d wager that most elementary-age kids are more sedentary than kids were when I was that age.

      • Outrun1986 says:

        I heard the same thing as a kid, and video games have been around for 30 years in the home, so its really nothing new. I love when people say video games are some kind of new thing, because they are not (you would think the human race would have figured out how to control video game play within 30 years if it becomes a problem).

        If they don’t play video games and on the computer they will just sit in front of the TV anyways. Computers have also been in homes since the 80’s, and kids played on them just as much back then as they do now.

        We had PE class 1 day a week in grade school for 30-45 min, same with high school, it was called gym day. Now the schools here have it at least 3 times a week. However daily recess has been eliminated and even I did not have that in school. If they brought that back kids would automatically get the required 1 hour a day playtime at least 5 days a week, and most schools don’t allow electronics from home to be brought to school so kids would be running around and doing physical play during recess.

  21. dolemite says:

    I was just thinking about going out for lunch, and decided to look up the calorie info on a few things. Basically…for any combo you are in for at least 1,100-$1,300 calories. And that isn’t even for the crazy big burgers. And that’s also for a small drink, small fry.

  22. Anri says:

    I like PCRM, but I don’t know what the point of their report is. Are there really parents who previously thought this food was remotely close to healthy and will now acquire this information and stop purchasing it for their children? I doubt it.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      YES! My mom feeds this slop to my little sister because, according to her, a cheeseburger, fries, and chocolate milk are 1 serving each of protein, vegetables, and dairy. Yeah, and a nice rich allotment of fat, grease, starch, and salt too.

      Even after I told her that McD’s treats their meat with AMMONIA she still feeds her that shit. Even if there was CYANIDE in the ketchup & she’d still buy her Happy Meals every other day.

      • Anri says:

        Well yes, there are parents who are very ignorant about nutrition, but if she doesn’t stop feeding food with freaking ammonia in it, is she going to stop because it has excess sodium?

  23. stopshopping says:

    Kids that run around and ride bikes all day can burn off LOTS of calories, healthy or not. Get out and play! Moderation is obviously key with the “Junk” meals, but overall calories vs. burn will always be the answer. And the healthy substitutes like lowfat milk, apple slices, yogurt parfait, etc. are excellent meal choices.

  24. Outrun1986 says:

    The problem here is not the kids meals its the fact that they have increased the portions in the kids meals and they now offer a mighty kids meal? Do kids really need a mighty kids meal, I don’t think so! They should just stick to the regular kids meal with various options, and not market a mighty kids meal towards kids, because of course the kid is going to want the bigger meal and whine and cry for it (that doesn’t mean you as the parent have to give it to the kid, but I have yet to see a kid that didn’t want the bigger version of a kids meal because it exists). Oh mom I am all grown up now I am getting a mighty kids meal! My point is that if the mighty kids meal exists parents are more likely to choose that option over the regular one. If parents want to buy their kids more food than a kids meal let them order it off the regular menu.

    Oh and sometimes the healthy options like applesauce and juice contain HFCS, which is really, really bad for adults and kids alike.

  25. hotcocoa says:

    Everyone knows that if you want to eat healthy, don’t go to a fast food place. Plain and simple. The portions are too big and there’s tons of fat and sodium in there to make the food taste good.
    Cook healthy at home and make extra, store leftovers in the freezer and grab those “if you’re in a pinch and don’t have time.”
    Don’t expect Ronald and the King to have your back and keep your best interest in mind. We’ve been hearing this as consumers for years now, sheesh.

  26. isileth says:

    Fast food s not healthy but it’s the whole eating habit that must be taken into account.
    Eating junk food once a month is not a problem, but eating only junk food is.
    I once saw a family having breakfast in a diner in New York.
    The youngest girl who could have been six was eating three pancakes, fried bacon and eggs.
    This is absurd for a young girl, especially if you eat like this every day.
    You are going to have your arteries clogged before you are 30.
    Once I watched a commercial when they sold a non-stick kind of pots and pans.
    They were showing a breakfast made with 4 eggs and tons of meat and Chef Tony proclamed with a glee: “here is your carbs’ free breakfast”.
    It might have carbs’ free but it was a nutriotional suicide.
    If you want healthy food for you and your children, fast foods are to be avoided.

  27. rubicthecube says:

    Kids will eat whatever tastes good. Parents need to learn how to cook awesomely. When I was a kid, I would take Enchiladas Verdes (yes I have mexican parents) any day over McD’s. I liked eating fruit because that’s what we had in the fridge. We didn’t have a lot of money, so we rarely ate fast food. I remember when I was a kid my parents always told me that the best foods require time to prepare, and usually they tend to be healthier. I eat burgers every now and then, but I still prefer going online, finding a recipe that looks awesome, and making it myself. I’m sure when I have kids, I’ll do the same.

  28. H3ion says:

    I eat McDonald’s. Five Guys, Nathans, pizza, etc probably once every 2-3 weeks and I don’t see anything wrong with that. I allowed my kids (all of whom are grown and none of whom have obesity or health issues) pretty much the same deal. We all grew up. The issue wasn’t whether McDonald’s was “good” for you. Heck, a bag of M&M’s weren’t good for you but a handful weren’t going to put you into an early grave either. The issue was whether the parents provided a balanced and varied diet and used the franchise restaurants as a treat every now and then. Eating a cheese steak won’t kill you. But eating a cheese steak three times a day for ten years isn’t going to put you on the cover of Vogue. It’s all moderation.

  29. Cicadymn says:



    More on this, and the weather, at 11.

  30. ma1234 says:

    Or how how about this: it depends on the person! I’m male, 6’0″, 26 years old, 165 lbs. I grew up on McDonald’s – I was never fat. I still will eat a Whopper or Big Mac once or twice a week or even three times a week and, guess what? I’m still not fat.

    Some people can indulge in this food and be fine. Others can’t.

  31. Sydney2PR says:

    It must be pointed out that the amount of fast food that a child eats is at the discretion of the parent/guardian.

    Once in a blue moon is a treat.

    Once a week is a dangerous idea.

    Once a day is a heart attack waiting to happen.

  32. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    This is why this should not be an everyday or even an every week thing. It should be occasional.