BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- With the school year in full swing, for many of us hitting the drive-thru is an easy choice.
But a recent study by the CDC shows 1 in 3 American kids eat fast food everyday. According to the study, that much fast food consumption can affect kids health and ability to perform well in school.
Registered Dietitian at Buffalo General Katie Manis told News 4 the study isn’t shocking, but it should be taken as a warning sign.
She said kids need whole foods, not the processed stuff often found on dollar menus.
The key to success Manis said, is planning.
“You always want to set yourself up for success. If you know you’re going to have a day where there’s a lot going on, you can always prep something a day or two beforehand, have it the refrigerator and then it’s ready and easy to grab,” Manis told News 4.
News 4 asked Western New Yorkers how often they think kids should eat fast food.
Most agreed no more than once a week was a healthy balance.
Many Western New Yorkers told News 4 they’ve noticed more fast food options now than ever before.
“You see kids now-a-days and it’s kind of upsetting that parents are leaning toward that. You should want your kids to grow healthy and strong, and that means chicken, rice, protein, good stuff for you,” said Jessica Reichart of Buffalo.
Of the kids surveyed, teens got 17 percent of their daily calories from fast food. Younger children got 9 percent.
According to Manis, depending on how active kids are, they should consume between 1,800-2,200 calories a day.
One Chicken Nugget Happy Meal at McDonald’s will set you back 415 calories.
Manis told News 4 habits are started early, and generally stick with kids.
If you really are stuck at that drive-thru, then make the best choice you can,” she said.
That means opting for apples instead of fries, and saying no to supersize and extra cheese.
So how does the U.S. stack up globally?
News 4 spoke to some German tourists who recently landed in Western New York.
“I think they eat much fast food,” said Heidi Reff from Frankfurt.
“Many people are over weight and and I think it’s because of the fast food,” she said.