Fast food shops provide a place for kids to hang out:
Having saved the children from the perils of walking to school and active play we are surprised that they are fat. In fact I suspect that half the appeal of fast food joints to schoolchildren is not the food per se; rather it is the chance to hang out with their friends and make minor decisions about what they want to do next without adults looming over them.At my school we weren't allowed (below sixth form) to leave the grounds at lunchtime. Each day a precious few passes were granted to fifth formers - we could, if we secured one of these passes, go as far as Crown Point (about 400 yards from the school gates) where there was a convenient cafe.
The other part of the quote is just as pertinent - children have few opportunities to be children, everything has to be managed, organised, supervised and monitored. The idea of just going out to play has gone. Worse still, we tend now to treat children just hanging out as pretty much anti-social behaviour.