If you are a parent, you know exactly how it feels when your child, or children, ask for a Happy Meal. It’s true, there are a lot of calories involved, but it really feels bad to say no to them. So, from time to time, you break your own rules and buy a Happy Meal only to regret what you have done later. But a New York city council member knows about these feelings too and a new idea emerged that might just help you and your children.
The New York Council is considering the elaboration of a new “Healthy Happy Meals” bill, which is very similar to another bill released in California. The bill would have all fast food restaurants which are serving meals for kids reduce their total number of calories in the meal: less fat, less sugar, less sodium. They might also have to serve some fruit and vegetables as well.
This conclusion has been drawn after researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center discovered that such legislation might have significant impact on child obesity. The NYU Medical Center conducted a study, carefully analyzing children’s meals from McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s. The Center also mentioned that showing the number of calories on meals made little to no impact.
Dr. Brian Elbel, who works for the NYU Langone Medical Center, enforced the argument of applying this bill by mentioning the great benefits that it would bring. According to Elbel, if children were ordering meals under the application of the bill, they would lose 54 calories, which is “almost a 10 percent reduction in calories”. We avoid 10 percent today, tomorrow, and, in time, we can see the benefits.
Elbel also mentioned that these types of policies need to be applied sooner or later. The more we avoid them or the more we talk about them without taking any action, the more time we give children to get obese, which is something that we should avoid entirely. Elbel is confident that “this bill could be a step in the right direction”. And there is no reason for us not to believe that as well.
The bill limitations would include restrictions as follows: 500 or less calories in every meal, fewer than 35% fat calories, fewer than 10% saturated and added sugar fats, sodium reduced to 600 mg or lower and the meals must contain at least one fruit, a vegetable or whole grains. And if this bill were taken seriously and applied accordingly, it could take us very far.
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