Fast food and obese children -

Fast food and obese children

More and more health officials are warning that if we don't reverse current childhood obesity trends, future generations of Americans may not live as long as we do today. A landscape of easy to access, fatty, sugary food is one of the main causes.

"You can't not see a fast food restaurant," says Adrian Crosby. "We need more ‘healthier' alternatives. That's one of the reasons my daughter is here."

Crosby's daughter is taking part in a Children's Hospital program aimed at combating childhood obesity.

"She doesn't deserve this," Crosby said of his daughter Sophia. "So, as a family, we had to make some changes."

Crosby says those changes included an overhaul of their fast food eating habits.

"We've got to learn to have something at home to eat versus ‘Ok, let's all go to Burger King, Let's go to McDonalds'. No. Let's go home and have a family meal," says Crosby.

The dilemma is one that more and more families are facing these days.

"I've seen a big growth in fast food and more and more reliance on fast food as a major part of people's diets," shared dietician Lauren Niemes.

As a dietician for 25 years, Niemes says fast food used to be a treat, now it is often a staple. She names the loss of cooking skills, the increase in the availability of fast food restaurants, marketing, and then the formulation of tastes as major influencing factors.

"We have the first generation of young people that may actually live shorter lives, and sicker lives, than any generation before," explained Stacy Wegley.

Many agree that the growth of value menus have only perpetuated the problem in theses still tough economic times.

But there's a movement to make changes.

"Those companies are going to respond to community demand and what we want to do is help and show that there is a change in the tide for wanting healthier choices," Wegley said.

For many, it is no longer a want for healthier choices, but a need. It is a reality that hits home for Crosby.

Copyright 2011 America Now. All rights reserved.

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