A child's soft drink in the late 1950s was 240 ml; in 2000 it was 355 ml, and a "large" soda 1,024 ml and 310 calories. In 1992, McDonald's introduced Super Size Fries, containing 25 grams of fat and 540 calories (research shows our bodies can only process about 800 calories at any one meal before excess calories are stored as fat).
2. Fast-food companies are serving extremely high-calorie food to people who are at the greatest risk of the health consequences from obesity (especially low-income families). They are creating bad eating habits that will last a lifetime, including super-size portions and high sugar and fat consumption. Advertisements aimed at children and which promote foods high in fat and sugar should be banned.
3. Rates of overweight children are unchanged in Italy and Spain, where fast food is less plentiful.
4. It is not fast-food meals themselves, just the hurried nature of eating. It takes about 20 minutes for our brains and stomachs to communicate that we are full. If you eat a meal faster than 20 minutes, you risk eating more than you need. There is no time to self-regulate. If we slow down our eating, we focus more on what we are eating. This awareness alone can make parents realize fast food may not be wholesome or nutritious enough for their children. The most important thing at the table for a child is the parents. It's a chance to sit down together and for the child to get attention and be heard. There's no better nourishment than that.