But wait! Amid Arizona ranking at the bottom of states on child health indicators comes encouraging news: Young children in the state are eating less fast food than they were two years ago, according to data from the 2010 Arizona Health Survey (AHS) conducted by SLHI.
The number of children younger than six years of age who ate fast foods at least once a week declined by 14% from 2008 to 2010. In 2008, 76% ate fast foods at least once a week. In 2010 that number dropped to 61%.
The decline is correlated to a higher incidence of physicians stressing the importance of eating healthy when speaking with parents. In 2010, 78% of parents said their child’s physician talked to them about the importance of “eating healthy” compared to 68% in 2008. The other factor we can’t ignore, however, is the dismal economy over the past two years. Fewer people were eating out at regular restaurants, although performance at fast food restaurants was mixed: some held their own or modestly increased, others declined.
The 2010 AHS contains a wealth of data on the state of the state’s health. Visit the AHS website for more information.