America's children increasingly eat out, because most kids prefer food from their favorite fast-food restaurants, and this upward trend in fast-food consumption is out-of-control and has paralleled increasing obesity rates among children and adolescents. The study took into account 3,500 food combinations, 41 chain restaurants and counted the sugar, sodium, fats and saturated fats, according to the findings. The end result is more American children are overweight.

Eating at your favorite fast-food or full-service restaurant comes with a pretty high cost, your children's health. Research results published online by the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine,  say these findings are linked directly with increased caloric intake as well as a increased intake of sugar, total fat, saturated fat and sodium.

The study included over 8,000 children ages 2 to 19 years. According to the results “restaurant consumption among children and adolescents was significantly related to higher nutrient intake of sugar, total fat, saturated fat and sodium. On days that children and adolescents ate from restaurants, the authors suggest “poorer nutrient intake was associated with consuming foods from fast-food restaurants" and obesity is the outcome of poorer nutritional and increased caloric intake.

Source: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA (Journal for the American Medical Assoc.)

The researchers and authors of this paper conclude: “At the same time, regulatory and voluntary policies that aim to set the standards for nutritional content in meals obtained from restaurants are increasingly being implemented, and continued efforts are needed to improve and promote healthy food options in restaurants, especially for our children.”

How bad is fast-food for our kids?

Lisa M. Powell, Ph.D. says Rethink Your Drink - Sugar Loaded Drinks (4.25.12)