Kids are indeed eating outside the home more often. Research proves the correlation between recent changes in children's eating patterns and the obesity epidemic. In general, foods available at fast-food establishments, restaurants, vending machines, and other commercial outlets are associated with poor dietary quality and increased intake of empty and excessive calories. Compared to two years ago, kids are also snacking more and consuming calorie-laden, sweetened beverages that contribute to the adverse dietary effects of consuming food away from home.
Many of us eat up to four meals a day thanks to excessive snacking. And when we have a snack we don’t eat a carrot or an apple. Instead we reach for junk food. But this is not always the children’s fault . Schools are full of vending machines that offer high calorie snacks and sugary soft drinks . To make things worse they are bombarded with TV ads and commercials for unhealthy food. An average American eight-year old watches more than four thousand food ads a year. About 35% of these ads are for candy and snacks, another 10% for fast food.