Study reveals America's worst restaurants for kids; some of them are in India as well

New York: In a nation combating obesity as an epidemic, a study in the United States has ranked kids' menus that are most likely to make children fat. A year-long study of children's meals across popular American fast food and sit-down restaurant chains, some of which have operations in India as well.

Though the study is limited to the US operations, it could well be argued that these chains offer equivalent menus in India, and therefore, would largely have the same nutritional value that they offer on the other side of the Atlantic. After all, what's good for the goose is good for the gander!

The study reveals vast dietary differences amongst America's favourite fast-food and sit-down chain restaurants, co-authors of the new book ''EAT THIS, NOT THAT! For Kids'' David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding calculated calories, fat (trans-fat and saturated fat), and sodium, as well as the average number of calories per children's entrée. They discovered many of America's most popular chain restaurants are nutritional nightmares for children.

The authors compared children's entrees; credited restaurants for having healthy adult options that would appeal to the young palate; evaluated healthy vegetable and fruit sides and drink options that go beyond sugar-laden soda; and docked points for restaurants still dishing out unhealthy trans-fats or for refusing to release any nutrition information to their customers.

The resultant ''Restaurant Report Card'' holds each food chain accountable for the fare they're serving up, to moms, dads, kids, teens, and everybody else, along with a survival strategy for making it through any meal unscathed.

David Zinczenko is the editor-in-chief of Men's Health magazine, and the editorial director of Women's Health and Best Life magazines. He is also the author of New York Times bestsellers The Abs Diet and The Abs Diet for Women. Once an overweight child, Zinczenko has become one of America's leading experts on health and fitness, and is a regular contributor to the Today show. He has appeared on the talk shows of Oprah, Ellen, Good Morning America, and Primetime Live.