Chicken nuggets, fish fingers, fries: Scientists have evaluated which children’s dishes are served in German restaurants. The result is depressing.
A team led by Sven Schneider from the University of Heidelberg evaluated 1877 children’s dishes on 500 menus owned by owner-managed restaurants. Their conclusion is devastating. From a nutritional point of view, around four out of five of the dishes examined are bad for the body, said Sven Schneider from the University of Heidelberg of the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung” (“FAS”). The investigation has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Too much fat, too many calories
Most children’s meals contained too much fat and calories, low nutrients and often red meat, Schneider said in the FAS. 54% percent of the food analyzed contained fries; whole grains were not found once.
Among other things, the researchers rated the quality of the dishes according to the quality standards of the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) for lunches in kindergartens and schools. In addition, they divided the courts according to an internationally used rating system – here, the German children’s dishes were even worse than corresponding offers in fast food chains in North America. There you can order the junior bag with water, salad or apple, so Schneider.
Negative Side of Junk Food
Regular junk food intake leads to long-term health problems such as obesity, accompanying emotional and self-esteem problems, and chronic illnesses in later life. A single fast food meal could add 160 and 310 extra kilocalories to the daily caloric intake for teenagers and younger children, respectively.
The presence of hazardous food coloring agents and/or unhealthy trans fats in many fast food items, and issues with food preparation safety, often complicate the issue further.
Around a quarter of the dishes examined did not fulfill any of the eleven DGE criteria. In addition, there is too little variety. 70 percent of all children’s meals are always the same, unhealthy food:
- Schnitzel with fries,
- Chicken nuggets,
- Sausages with fries,
- Fries with ketchup or mayonnaise,
- Pasta with sauce.
The best rating was for spaghetti with tomato sauce, Schneider said of the “FAS” – “because you can still rate tomato sauce with a lot of good will as a vegetable“.
Federal Nutrition Minister Julia Klöckner (CDU) said on Twitter , the study results are a reason to meet with representatives of restaurants and restaurants.