Since 1970, the amount of fast food restaurants in business doubled, which equates to about 300,000 establishments in the United States. Coincidentally, 33.8 percent of the U.S. population is affected by obesity and 19 percent of children and adolescents are also affected. Could there be a link between fast food and obesity?
Is fast food to blame?
Let’s look at a few typical fast food menu items, which do not contain drinks or sides:
- McDonalds Big Mac: 540 calories and 29 g of fat
- Burger King Whopper: 670 calories and 40 g of fat
- Wendy’s Bacon Deluxe Double: 880 calories and 52 g of fat
- Taco Bell Nachos Bell Grande: 770 calories and 24 g of fat
Now let’s throw in the sides:
- Medium fries at McDonalds: 380 calories and 19 g of fat
- Onion rings at Dairy Queen: 360 calories and 16 g of fat
- Regular cole slaw at Popeye’s: 260 calories and 23 g of fat
And don’t forget the drinks:
- Large Frosty at Wendy’s: 540 calories and 8 g of fat
- Large sweet tea at McDonalds: 280 calories and 0 g of fat
- Iced Carmel Latte from Dunkin Donuts: 450 calories and 12 g of fat
These foods are highly processed, full of fat, calories and sodium. You could easily take in 1,500 calories from just one meal alone. Keep in mind that a general caloric recommendation for Americans is 1,500-1,800 calories per-day and around 50-60 grams of total fat. Choosing a typical fast food meal every day can lead to increased calories which can lead to weight gain and can lead to other health conditions like heart disease.