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Menu Follies

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In an effort to tackle the mounting problem of childhood obesity, the restaurant industry pledged to trim the fat, so to speak, from its children’s menus. It’s a worthy sentiment, given that about 1 in 5 school-aged children (aged 6–19) have obesity, according to the CDC.

Unfortunately, a study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health published in March 2017 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has found that children’s menus are still a nutritional landmine. After examining the nutritional content of more than 4,000 kids’ menu items from across America between 2012 and 2015, the researchers reached the cheerless conclusion that little has changed in terms of calories, salt and saturated fat. And while soda options have declined, sugary-flavored milks have stepped in to fill the void. All the more reason to nourish our kids on old-fashioned home cooking.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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