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The causes of obesity are complex and reflect food and lifestyle choices that ultimately result in an energy intake that exceeds expenditure. In 1997, American children obtained 50% of their calories from added fat and sugar (35% and 15%, respectively); only 1% regularly ate diets conforming to the recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid, and 45% failed to achieve any of the Pyramid recommendations.1 Although parental influence remains a critical determinant of children's dietary intake, environmental factors outside parental control also influence what children eat. These factors include the marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient soft drinks and other snack foods to children in schools.
Fried EJ, Nestle M. The Growing Political Movement Against Soft Drinks in Schools. JAMA. 2002;288(17):2181. doi:10.1001/jama.288.17.2181-JMS1106-7-1
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