As Americans, how well are we feeding our kids?

As a nation, not that well! The studies show only between 10 and 20% of children eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But this is even worse when you consider nearly half of all these “vegetable” servings are actually fried potatoes.

And studies show that the 32% of female and 52% of male adolescents drink 3 or more 8 ounce servings of soda each day, that’s at least 300 calories from soda alone. And it appears that all this soda is coming at the cost of decreased milk consumption. Today children consume two times more sugar sweetened beverages than milk. Compare this to  the 70’s when children drank four times more milk than any other drink. This trend is unsettling when you consider the importance of calcium in bone formation. Not only are kids consuming less calcium in their beverages, but less of the calcium intake is bioavailable because soda interferes with calcium absorption. This may be putting our youth at risk for future osteoporosis.

The overall eating trends of Americans, revealed in the Bogalusa Heart Study (1973 to 1994), are unsettling: Americans ate less breakfast, ate more meals outside the home, and had a larger percentage of daily calories from snacks. This is a trend that continues today and these habits are associated with increased weight gain.