French Fries Equal Only 1.5 Percent to 3 Percent of Kids’ Calorie Intake

September 15, 2011 - 6:07 PM
French fries

French fries make up only a small percentage of the calories consumed by American children, according to data from the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. (National Potato Council chart)

(CNSNews.com) - Depending on the gender and age of the child, French fries make up only between 1.5 percent to 3.07 percent of the daily calories typically consumed by an American child, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the federal Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

This bit of data was sent out by the National Potato Council on Thursday after First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Darden restaurants—which include the Olive Garden and Red Lobster--will only be serving French fries to youngsters ordering from the children’s menu if an adult authorizes it.

According to the NHNES data put out by the National Potato Council, only 26 of the daily average of 1,511 calories consumed by the average American child age 2 to 4 come from French fries. That equals about 1.5 percent.

Among American children 18 and under, girls 5 to 8 years of age or the ones that get the largest share of their calories from French fries. In this group, the average girl consumes

1,658 calories in a day of which 51 calories--or 3.07 percent—come from French fries.

Here is the average daily calorie intake—and the percentage attributable to French fries—for American boys and girls up to 18 years of age:

Males

--2 to 4 year olds consume 1,511 calories of which 26 calories or 1.72 percent are from French fries.

--5 to 8 year olds consume 1,788 calories of which 37 calories or 2.06 percent are from French fries.

--9 to 13 year olds consume 2,188 calories of which 33 calories or 1.50 percent are from French fries.

--14 to 18 year olds consume 2,381 calories of which 51 calories or 2.14 percent are from French fries.

Females

--2 to 4 year olds consume 1,401 calories of which 26 calories or 1.85 percent are from French fries.

--5 to 8 year olds consume 1,658 calories of which 51 calories or 3.07 are from French fries.

--9 to 13 year olds consume1857 calories of which 42 calories or 2.26 percent are from French fries.

--14 to 18 year olds consume 1791 calories of which 33 calories or 1.84 percent are from French fries.