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The American Dietetic Association Foundation is out with a new poll, reported by HealthDay News, revealing some fascinating statistics about the eating habits of children:

• “Breakfast is sometimes missed by 42 percent of white children and Hispanic children, and 59 percent of black children.”

• “Breakfast is rarely or never eaten by 12 percent of white and Hispanic children, and 18 percent of black children.”

• “Dinner is not eaten all the time by 22 percent of white children, 34 percent of black children and 38 percent of Hispanic children.”

• “Dinner is rarely or never eaten by 3 percent of white children and 5 percent of black and Hispanic children.”

• “Snacks are often eaten to replace skipped meals ... Snacking immediately after school was reported by 56.7 percent of white children, 57.8 percent of black children and 59.1 percent of Hispanic children.”

• “Regular snacking in the evening after dinner was reported by 24 to 26 percent of all the children, while about 23 percent of white kids, 30 percent of black kids and nearly 24 percent of Hispanic kids said they often or always ate snacks while watching television.”

There is some good news for the supermarket industry in the poll:

• “The proportion of daily family meals eaten at home increased from 52 percent in 2003 to 73 percent in 2010, and nearly 73 percent of children are now eating at home on school nights, compared with about 52 percent in 2003.”

• “Most children (51.4 percent of whites, 56.5 percent of blacks, 63.8 percent of Hispanics) said their families never or rarely (less than once a week) eat at fast-food or sit-down restaurants.”
KC's View:
In some ways, these numbers seem to contradict themselves, suggesting that kids are eating more snacks but less fast food. But maybe that is the effect of the recession.

I’m glad to see that more people are eating at home, because of all the positive social and cultural implications. But clearly we - and by this I mean parents, not governments - need to be better about how and what we feed our kids. Because you can trace some of these numbers right to the nation’s obesity crisis. (More about that issue below, in “Your Views.”