Fast food is omnipresent in the United States (U.S.) and contributes to poor dietary quality and poor health among youth and adults alike. Children need adults to teach them good eating habits to attain and maintain good health by introducing them to healthful foods and being good role models. The fast food industry, through vast funds and advertising, contribute to challenges parents face to provide healthful foods for their families and thwart our best efforts to meet health goals. Research shows fast food consumption is influenced by lack of cooking confidence, time pressures, and perceptions of ease and convenience. We need practical strategies to help parents and children make healthier food choices. As a product of conference proceedings, this paper provides a non-exhaustive narrative summary of the fast food marketplace and marketing, the contributions of fast food to diet and health, struggles with healthful eating among families, and possible solutions of how we can help children and parents empower themselves to have healthier lives.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health [ R01DK08400 ].