And the award for least healthy fast food meal for kids goes to….McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal, which has 840 calories, 37 grams of fat and just about as much sodium as a kid should consume in an entire day.
The list, based on analysis by dietitians at the nonprofit group Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), also includes meals from Wendy’s, KFC, A&W, and Burger King.
The worst fast-food kids meals earned this dubious honor because of the amount of fat, cholesterol and sodium they contain.
Consumer groups have recently slammed McDonald’s and other fast food chains have for marketing junk food to kids when America is in the middle of a childhood obesity crisis.
In June, the nonprofit group Center for Science in the Public Interest, threatened McDonald’s with a lawsuit unless it stopped using toys to promote Happy Meals (so far, no lawsuit has been filed).
“Kids shouldn’t have to dodge cholesterol bombs packaged in colorful, toy-filled boxes,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “We’re losing the war against childhood obesity, but fast-food chains are still making obscene profits by targeting children with high-fat meals.”
Here are the 5 Worst Fast Food Kids Meals (ranked from worst to least bad):
1. McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal: Double Cheeseburger, French fries, and chocolate milk
840 calories; 37 grams of fat
2. Wendy’s Kids’ Meal: Chicken Sandwich, French fries, and chocolate Frosty
770 calories; 34 grams of fat
3. KFC Kids Meal: Popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese, and soda
800 calories; 1,800 milligrams of sodium
4. A&W Kids Meal: Cheeseburger, French fries, and soda
780 calories; 9 grams of saturated fat
5. Burger King’s BK Kids: Breakfast muffin sandwich meal
95 milligrams of cholesterol; exceeds recommended limit on sodium intake
As I wrote last month in my blog about the 20 Worst Kids Foods, I don’t believe in demonizing any particular food. In general, I believe that everything is okay in moderation. But, after studying this list of fast food offenders, I think I’ll steer my kids clear of these particularly unhealthy meals.
How often do you let your kids eat fast food?