Today about 16%* of French children are obese or overweight. That is two times more than 10 years ago. One cannot help to think about the American model and fast food, but what is the advice of nutritionists?
McDo: Walking Method; Professor Paul Valensi, Nutritionist, Endocrinologist:
The problems of the obesity are related in part to profound changes in our behavior or notions towards nutrition. For the last 15 years, children have had a tendency to eat foods which are fattier and contain more sugar. They move (exercise) less and less, they spend more time in front of the television, and play more on the computer, instead of playing outdoor games with their friends, which doesn't help them burn calories. Thus with these new ways of life they weigh more. This explains their overflow (unhealthy?) food.
There aren't any bad products, just bad habits; Agnés Mignonac, Dietician-Nutritionist:
Our children belong to the fast food generation; forbidding them from eating this type of food would not be constructive at all. However, there is no reason to eat excessive amounts of junk food, nor to go more than once a week to McDonald's. A child's meal should thus be selected according to his weight and physical activity. If the child is rather active, there's no problem, the calories from his Happy Meal will be burned off quickly. On the other hand, if the child is rather sedentary and overweight, it would be better to offer for him to eat a hamburger rather than chicken McNuggets (in order to avoid a second fried dish), orange juice or mineral water, and, of course, a yogurt (for the calcium). The important thing, in order to avoid an excessive calorie intake, would be to have a plan which takes into account the meal which will follow which should be lighter and emphasize fruits and vegetables. During the rest of the week, all meal menus must be balanced and diversified.
NOTE: "McDo" is the French equivalent of the American "Mickey D"