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Fast Food Choices Overwhelming Youngsters, Psychology Study Warns
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COLUMBUS, Ohio - Psychology Today will be the first to publish the full results of an Ohio State University study showing the stresses felt by children in the five to ten age group related to fast food choices. "Children today are flooded with choices; options in video games, several channels of children's programming, and now fast food," explained Randy Sciulli Professor of Children's Studies and lead researcher on the project, "Our research found that an average kid's meal can be configured in any of thirty-eight different ways, based on drink, toy, and entree choice. Some even have 'fry or fruit' options." Sciulli's work suggests that children are showing signs of stress and depression which can be directly linked to the rise in the number of choices they are called upon to make.

"Processing of the external directive to collapse opportunity vectors causes an elevation in stress."
-- Graduate student Paul Nelson
"It is our view, based on our work in this study, that children can comfortably handle three externally motivated decisions an hour," said graduate student Paul Nelson, "EMD's are distinguished from internally motivated decisions such as what snack to eat or what toy to play with since these apparently do not increase the child's stress levels. We theorize that it is the processing of the external directive to collapse opportunity vectors that causes the elevation in stress."

"I like being able to pick my own stuff," said Andrianna McIntosh, a third-grade girl waiting in line at McDonald's with her mother, "I'm going to have a Mighty Kids Meal with McNuggets, two barbecue sauces, apple slices, a Cherry Coke, and the Ballerina Barbie with the green tutu. I've already got the pink one," she added with a giggle. "She doesn't seem stressed out to me," her mother related, "She seems to genuinely enjoy the routine. It's like listening to her order a Latte."

"If we thought for one moment we were putting the psyche of our young customers at risk, we'd make every change necessary to rectify it," said a representative of McDonald's, "But the research of our experienced scientists just doesn't sync up with that of the Ohio State students' study. It's our position that they need to go back over their data."

"They can scoff if they want to," responded Sciulli, "But when some kid flips out while ordering a Happy Meal and comes across the counter at the throat of somebody asking, 'Fries or fruit?' one too many times, I for one will not be in the least surprised."
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