Are you aware of the risks of fast food? Researchers surveyed 500,000 youth ages 6 to 7 and 13 to 14. In these groups, kids who ate fast food three times a week (or more) had increased risks of asthma, chronic stuffy nose, and eczema. I believe that fast food should only be given as a reward (sometimes) or as a treat.

A local nutritionist suggests: Don't allow kids to "drink" their calories (order water or fat-free milk instead of something more sugary); get a salad or baked potato instead of French fries or onion rings; order smaller portions; choose grilled foods instead of fried; use mustard or ketchup, not "special sauce"; follow these rules so kids will learn them.

Another study found that teenagers and kids "consumed more calories in fast food and other restaurants than they did at home." Eating out was "associated" with consuming as many as 160 extra calories for young children and 310 calories for teens. Obesity is a serious problem for children and teenagers in the United States and globally.