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The 20 Worst Kids’ Foods


(Editor’s Note.  This article has appeared in several forums, including the blog The Stone Hearth)

Authors David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding recently revealed the list of the “20 Worst Kids’ Foods in America” as featured in the new Eat This, Not That! 2012: The No-Diet Weight Loss Solution, the annual update of their original New York Times bestselling title. The list includes the nation’s most caloric kids’ menu options at major fast-food and sit-down restaurant chains across the country. The books in the popular Eat This Not That series, which currently have more than 7.7 million copies in print, identify unhealthy foods – in fast-food chains, restaurant chains and grocery stores – and offer healthier alternatives.

“Many of the foods on this list are too caloric for even an adult, let alone a child,” said David Zinczenko, author of the bestselling EAT THIS, NOT THAT! series and Editor-in-Chief of Men’s Health. “A moderately active eight-year old should be eating an average of 1,600 calories a day. Most of these dishes add up to nearly an entire day’s worth of calories at one sitting and The Cheesecake Factory’s Kids’ Pasta tops that by 200 calories! Parents need to be aware of what they’re feeding their children to avoid the health risks that go along with obesity at a young age.”

To compile the list, the authors evaluated calorie counts and other nutritional values such as fat, saturated fat, sodium and added sugar. After analyzing menus, nutrition labels and ingredient lists, they came up with 20 caloric-calamities–all of which are among the worst kids’ meals in America.

Topping the 2012 list is The Cheesecake Factory’s “Kids Pasta with Alfredo Sauce,” which contains a whopping 1,810 calories and 89 grams of saturated fat–the calorie equivalent of nearly 40 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets.

Top 10 Worst Kids’ Foods:

1. The Cheesecake Factory Kids Pasta with Alfredo Sauce (1,810 calories)

2. On the Border Kid’s Cheese Quesadilla with Mexican Rice (1,220 calories)

3. Outback Steakhouse Joey Spotted Dog Sundae (1,216 calories)

4. California Pizza Kitchen Kids Curly Mac n’ Cheese with Edamame (1,088 calories)

5. Friendly’s Dippin’ Chicken Salad (950 calories)

6. McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal with Double Cheeseburger, Fries (small), and 1% Chocolate Milk Jug (840 calories)

7. The Cheesecake Factory Kids Southern Fried Chicken Sliders (820 calories)

8. The Cheesecake Factory Kids Grilled Cheese Sandwich (810 calories)

9. KFC Kids Meal with Popcorn Chicken, Potato Wedges, and Pepsi (800 calories)

10. Applebee’s Kids Oreo Cookie Shake (780 calories)

Nutrition and its relationship to health is one of the topics of study at The United States Sports Academy.  For more information go to http://ussa.edu.


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