How much fast food are California parents feeding their young children? A lot, according to researchers at UCLA.
The study by UCLA’s Center for Health Policy Research found that sixty percent of California kids aged 2 to 5 eat fast food at least once a week.
That number was even higher – 70 percent – among Latino children. Among all two to five year olds, one in ten eats fast food at least three times a week.
The study is based on data from UCLA's 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009 California Health Interview Surveys.
The study’s authors note that the consumption of sugary drinks by young children has declined notably in recent years. They say this suggests campaigns to discourage sugary drinks have worked, and might also work to encourage better eating.
While childhood obesity in California declined dramatically from about 15 percent in 2003 to about 10 percent in 2007, the study found that between 2007 and 2009, the rate remained steady. Although 10 percent is still high, the authors say, it remains far lower than the national average of 25 percent.
You can read the full study here.