The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed in its latest study that children in the U.S. are eating more fast food, and the numbers are not slowing at any rate. Add to this the coronavirus pandemic and the effect on kids' diets may be disastrous.

A new report from CDC revealed that between 2015 to 2018, about 13.8 percent of the daily calorie intake of children was made up of fast food. The primary foods that they loved to eat were burgers, chicken nuggets, fries, and other items.

The agency found a distinct increase in the rate of consumed fast food. When they compared the data between 2011 and 2012, and the recent one between 2015 and 2018, they found a 1.4 percent increase. Previously, it was just 12.4 percent, which shot up and reached the latest 13.8 percent.

The report, which was conducted by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, analysed the eating habits of children between 12 and 19 years old. They found that these children consumed more fast food as they grew older. For kids aged two to 11, fast food made up 11.5 percent of their daily calorie intake. The number is high for the 12 to 19 group as their diet was 18 percent fast food. It also pointed out that Hispanic and Black youths had more calories from fast food compared to White youths.

With the ongoing pandemic, eating habits of kids could just get worse. Since many children are staying at home, then access to gym class would be lesser, and there is no guarantee that kids would exercise at home, especially for those who are living in cities.

WebMD provided some invaluable tips on how to keep kids away from fast food. It advised planning meals ahead, whether at home or on a vacation.

Ensuring that everyone eats a hearty breakfast also reduces the temptation to grab fast food. In addition, breakfast keeps the metabolism running and is even one factor that affects the maintenance of a healthy weight.

Fast food
Fast food Photo: Getty Images/Matt Cardy

Lastly, if the family would be out on the road, packing healthy snacks will always be the best option. This avoids turning the car towards the drive-thru lane.