FOOD and health experts have hit out at restaurants for serving fatty food to children following a survey.
Children’s meals at many restaurants are high in the kind of fat, sugar and salt content that can lead to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases if parents do not put their foot down more often.
The Consumer Council (消費者委員會 ) and the Centre for Food Safety (食物安全中心) last month studied a wide variety of children’s meals that included burgers, chicken wings, ribs, fries, noodles, pasta, rice, sushi, corn, pizza, cola, juice, milk, cake and sundaes.
Ruby Tuesday’s children’s meals – a mini-hamburger, French fries, a drink and chocolate sundae – contained 1,300 calories, 68 grams of total fat and 1.2 grams of trans fat.
Their calorie content – the highest among the meals studied – is 2.3 to 2.5 times the estimated requirement per meal for a seven-year-old. The meals’ total fat level is 3.6 to 3.9 times the acceptable range for a seven-year-old, while the trans fat is 1.4 times of that recommended for an 11-year-old.
One of Pizza Hut’s children’s meals – its spaghetti and hot chocolate set – recorded the highest amount of sugar at 80g. That is 5.6 to 6.2 times the World Health Organisation’s recommended intake for each meal for children aged seven.
Outback Steakhouse recorded the highest sodium levels in its pork ribs with tomato juice meal with 2,500mg. That amount exceeds a seven-year-old’s total recommended daily intake by a third.
(The Standard, 17 March 2015)