McDonald's, Wendy's Kids Meals Top Physician Group's Least Wanted List

Filed under: In The News, Nutrition: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Research Reveals: Big Kids, Nutrition: Tweens, Research Reveals: Tweens, Nutrition: Teens, Research Reveals: Teens

McDonalds fries

Maybe you should rethink dinner tonight ... Credit: Ben Stansall, AFP / Getty Images

McDonald's calls it a Mighty Kids Meal.

But really, kids, how mighty are you going to be when your arteries are clogged and you've lost all feeling on the left side of your body?

Leaders of the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have another name for such meals: "cholesterol bombs."

Catchy. Of course, that would have to be changed to Cholesterol McBombs. And there would have to be some kind of toy.

Still, the organization's nutrition education director, Susan Levin, doesn't think all that should be necessary.

"Kids shouldn't have to dodge cholesterol bombs packaged in colorful, toy-filled boxes," she says in a press release.

The committee released a list of the worst fast food kids' meals this week. The Mighty Kids Meal, a bigger version of the Happy Meal aimed at tweens, is No. 1 with a McBullet.

If that clown Ronald McDonald is not to be trusted, however, kids should also be leery of of a certain cute little girl with red pigtails. Wendy's Kids Meal came in second. The kids' meals at KFC, A&W and Burger King came in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

The Mighty Kids Meal (assuming you order the double cheeseburger, French fries and chocolate milk) comes in at 840 calories and 37 grams of fat. Wendy's chicken sandwich, French fries and chocolate Frosty weigh in at 770 calories and 34 grams of fat.

The Colonel at KFC, with his popcorn chicken, potato wedges, string cheese and soda, offers 800 calories and 1,800 milligrams of sodium. At A&W, you can get a cheeseburger, French fries and a soda, as well as 780 calories and 9 grams of saturated fat.

Say you want a BK Kids Meal for breakfast at Burger King? You're in for a "whopping" 95 milligrams of cholesterol -- exceeding recommended limit on sodium intake for child's breakfast.

A report this month from researchers at the College of William & Mary in Washington, D.C., found that children who live near or attend schools close to fast food restaurants are more likely to be obese.

And, in a trend driven by the obesity epidemic, an estimated one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We're losing the war against childhood obesity, but fast food chains are still making obscene profits by targeting children with high-fat meals," Levin says in the press release.

Related: Want Fries With That? Kids See More Fast Food Ads, Fewer for Sweets

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.