November 12th, 2010
04:50 PM ET

Fitness digest: Heavy kids eat too much 'healthy' food, how chefs can fight calories

When healthy foods come in large quantities, it can backfire and make the kids fat.

Every Friday, we'll give a Web shout-out to interesting, quirky or bizarre diet-and-fitness news and trends. Tell us your suggestions for interesting stories, posts or websites that caught your eye.

Heavy kids eat too much healthy food

Who eats more fruits, vegetables, fish, brown breads – overweight or normal weight kids?

The results from a study in Norway might be surprising.

Normal weight kids consumed more carbonated drinks and ate processed foods such as burgers, sausages, biscuits, processed pizza and sweets. Overweight kids ate more healthy foods such as fruit, vegetables, fish, brown bread and potatoes than children of normal weight.

It’s not healthy food that’s making them pack on the extra pounds – it’s the portion size, according to a study from Telemark University College, Norway and the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Another factor: Overweight children were less physically active and were more likely to have obese parents.

Three states not loco for Four Loko

Washington voted to ban the sale of alcoholic energy drinks after a group of college students got sick from consuming a drink nicknamed "blackout in a can." This followed after nine Central Washington University students were sickened at an off-campus party last month after drinking Four Loko.

Michigan and Oklahoma have already banned Four Loko. And Sen. Charles Schumer of New York has called for his state to ban the controversial drink.

Obesity growing in developing countries

Developing countries are facing a health threat  other than lack of clean water or sanitation – obesity.

The Lancet reports that low-income countries cannot cope with the health consequences of wide-scale obesity. Rates have already increased in nations including Brazil and South Africa, reports the BBC.

Growing obesity means greater risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and cancer,  health experts warned.

Blame top chef

Nearly three-quarters of restaurant chefs in a Penn State University survey reported that they could reduce 10 percent of the calories in meals without affecting the yumminess. And 21 percent of the chefs said they could trim at least 25 percent of the calories.

These small changes could have major impacts on the obesity epidemic, according to the news release. But the researchers speculated that the chefs might not want to modify their dishes because it could hurt sales or their restaurant’s reputation.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. Gala12

    Since when potatoes are a healthy choice? If child has an excessive appetite, he or she should eat small to non of breads, no sugar, more protein. Definition of healthy food often means smth. like low-fat , which is locks like mass delusion by now.

    November 13, 2010 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Lia

    the funniest part of this article is that in the middle of nowhere, there's 2 paragraphs on alcohol and college campuses, come on CNN! please edit your articles before you post them. When i read that I was like, wait I thought I was reading an obesity article.

    November 14, 2010 at 11:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. JCizzle

    "they could reduce 10 percent of the calories in meals without affecting the yumminess. And 21 percent of the chefs said they could trim at least 25 percent of the calories" From my restaurant experience, it's not up to the chef, it's up to the menu developer or kitchen managers at the corporate levels. Cooks, back of the house managers, or even executive kitchen managers don't get paid enough to care.

    November 15, 2010 at 01:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Rob

    Portion control has been the problem for decades now. Kids are no exception. On the other hand, just because your kid is a reasonable size doesn't mean that they should be eating junk foods. All kids should be fed correctly, as defined by how much nutrition they need and which foods are most appropriate for them. There's no one answer, but portion control and consistently feeding them the right foods will go a long way towards fixing the obesity problem, especially in children.

    Restaurant chefs should not really be responsible for taking care of our eating problems. They are a business built on preferences. The consumer should be the one who demands healthier foods through their use of the wallet. Business is moved by two things: demand and regulations. Consumers can make a difference, but they have to truly decide that they want to make the right choices for themselves first. When the preferences of the public change towards healthier foods, restaurants will adapt to the market. Until then, they'll surely keep piling on the butter, cream, and salt because we tell them to.

    Rational, effective nutrition for fat loss and long-term health: http://www.NutritionPerfected.com/np-blog.html

    November 15, 2010 at 09:18 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.