Americans may say they want to eat healthy but the truth of the matter is we really like to eat disgusting fatty foods. Despite efforts to bring healthier fare to fast food restaurants—thanks, Michelle!—when it comes time to order we turn to the fried stuff nearly every time, according to the AP. In totally unrelated news, Pediatrics magazine now recommends doctors not call kids fat since their parents would prefer to be told their kids are at an "unhealthy weight."
Many healthy-eating specialists were hoping that the advent of calorie counts on fast food menus would make a difference in what people order, but it doesn't seem to have done much at all. One study shows that only 15 percent of diners order the lower-calorie foods on fast food menus and as a result chains have slowed down their efforts to feed folks healthy food. According to a Technomic study of 1,200 restaurant chains between 2008 and 2010, the number of "health-related claims made on menus, like reduced fat or reduced carbs" fell five percent.
Of course, most diners could have told what it took teams of researchers to work out. “If I wanted something healthy, I would not even stop in at McDonald’s,” a 24-year-old New York trapeze instructor who "watches his diet at home but orders comfort foods like chicken nuggets and fries when he hits a fast-food joint" told an AP reporter at a Manhattan Mickey D's. Budgets also seem to be a big part of the problem as a $2 burger is a whole lot cheaper than a $6 salad. Not to mention the fact that you don't win friends with salad.
And so it goes. Which brings us back to fat kids! Though being overweight can be totally healthy it is always a touchy subject. While a public-health minister in England last year was widely quoted when she said people needed to call a fat spade a fat spade, a study in Pediatrics says docs should actually do no such thing. "Many people find the term 'fat' to be pejorative and judgmental," one of the study's authors says. "A lot of the time, providers have positive intentions, but the language they use can be seen as blaming, accusatory and not helpful." Instead they recommend doctors broach the topic carefully ("let's talk about your weight") and use terms like "high BMI" and "unhealthy weight."