The Neatest Little Paper Ever Read ®

Issue 974

(Continued from front page)

• How about a large order of fries at Five Guys? It’s surprising that the calorie count in the restaurant’s large fries is higher than the hamburger patty, bun, and milkshake combined. At 1,310 calories, the fries order contains 57 grams of fat, and the salt content is equal to more than six salt packets. Compare the large fries at McDonald’s, which add up to 510 calories.

• A regular burger, small fries, and small drink amounts to 630 calories, which can be further reduced by 150 calories by drinking water.

• How about burning off those fast food calories? A medium order of fries contains about 400 calories, and riding a stationary bike at a brisk pace for 30 minutes will burn about 391 of those. Thirty minutes of aerobics will only knock off 260, with strength training burning just 224. Burger King’s Double Whopper has 923 calories, which would require the average male to walk about nine miles to take care of those calories. Adding an order of fries and a large cola to the burger will bring the total to 1,500 calories, which is 65% of the recommended daily calorie intake for an adult male.

• One in three Americans drinks a large sugary drink every day. Forty ounces of regular soda is about 400 calories. Consider changing to water, unsweetened tea, or at least a smaller size on your next fast food visit.

• A salad at your favorite fast food place seems like a healthy option. But consider that a Grande Taco Salad at your local On the Border has 1,390 calories and 95 grams of fat. A salad at McDonald’s with their regular dressing tallies up to 680 calories, more than a Big Mac!

• Wendy’s, the only major fast food chain that sells baked potatoes, sells about a million spuds per week.

• It should be no surprise that fast food has been linked to an increase in the number of cases of obesity. The Centers for Disease Control list obesity as the #2 cause of preventable death (second only to smoking). There are several other consequences of frequent fast food consumption, including a link to depression. Some studies indicate a link between unhealthy food and dementia and breast cancer. Research has shown an increased risk for diabetes, colorectal cancer, heart disease, and high cholesterol for those who regularly consume fast food.

• It’s alarming to think that just living near a fast food restaurant can increase your chances of becoming obese! Recent studies suggest that people living less than 2 miles from a fast food place are more likely to have a higher Body Mass Index.

• Parents seem to be passing the fast food habit on to the next generation. About 9 out of 10 American children visit McDonald’s every month, and 34% of U.S. kids eat fast food on any given day. In addition to being linked to childhood obesity, a study of 12,000 students indicates that fast food may affect academic achievement. Students who ate more fast food had slower growth in educational improvement in reading, math, and science than those who ate no fast food.

• The average American teenager drinks more than 64 gallons of soft drinks every year.

• Ninety-six percent of children around the world recognize Ronald McDonald. This makes Ronald more recognizable than Santa Claus.

• In 2004, documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock conducted a 30-day experiment and captured the experience on film in “Super Size Me.” Seeking to investigate the increasing spread of obesity in America, Spurlock ate at McDonald’s three times every day, with an average of 5,000 calories a day. Starting out at 185 lbs., the 6 ft. 2 in Spurlock gained 9.5 lbs. in the first five days. By the end of the month-long trial, he weighed 210 lbs. He reported mood swings, fat accumulation in his liver, depression, headaches, and lethargy during the 30 days of nothing but fast food. Those 90 meals consumed in that 30 days were equal to what nutritionists advise a person should eat in 8 years. It took Spurlock 14 months to lose the weight.