1) Believe it or not, the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages consumed by children and adolescents decreased between the years 2001 and 2010. Unfortunately, they still account for one-tenth of these groups’ total caloric intake.
2) Most children do not get the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diets. Progress has been made on this front in recent years, however. From 2003 to 2010, the amount of vegetable/fruit consumption amongst children increased.
3) Children consume far too many empty calories – that is, calories that offer little in the way of nutritional value. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that, for children aged 2 to 18, empty calories from added sugars and solid fats accounted for 40% of daily caloric intake.
4) Where do all these empty calories come from? The CDC singles out six culprits: soda, fruit drinks, dairy desserts, grain desserts, pizza, and whole milk.
5) You might remember frequently dealing with colds as a kid. Your memory isn’t playing tricks on you – it is not uncommon for young children to develop six to eight colds per year.
6) Obesity is not just a problem for adults; one-fifth (20.6%) of children aged 12–19 years old meet the criteria for obesity.