Study names top five unhealthy kids meals offered by fast food chains
POSTED: Tuesday, June 12, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 10:26am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Some of our favorite foods have made the list of the five worst "healthy" fast food kids' meals.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine released the list as the summer season begins.
Javier Suarez is a father of two and said he sometimes takes his kids to eat fast food.
"The thing is that I know they are bad, but when you are in a hurry at the end of the day, you have to feed him," he said.
The committee said that foods listed as healthy really are not.
Chick-Fil-A's grilled nuggets kids' meal, which topped the list, contains the same amount of cholesterol as a Big Mac, according to the list.
"It's processed, they add salt to cook and preserve the food and it's also the sides and the drink," said Kasie Fondren-Jorquera, a registered clinical dietitian.
Fondren-Jorquera is a mother of three and knows the pressures of having to feed everyone on the go.
"I'm not saying that fast food can't be used as part of a normal, healthy diet, but it should be used every blue moon and in case of an emergency," she said.
McDonald's cheeseburger Happy Meal made the list at No. 2 and contains more sodium than 13 orders of McDonald's kids fries, even though they have added fruit, according to the committee.
Nutritionists say adding apples to a meal that's already unhealthy is not going to solve the problem.
"In addition to gaining weight, it can increase their blood pressure, they start gaining fluid and overall," Fondren-Jorquera said, "It's not setting them up for a healthy lifestyle later in life."
Burger King's hamburger Kids Meal was ranked No. 4, as doctors said it contains almost as much cholesterol as six slices of pork bacon.
Dietitians advise teaching kids to reach for healthier options.
"We want to teach our children healthy eating habits now so when they are older and we let them go, they are eating healthy then also," Fondren-Jorquera said.