Earlier in the month, the Huffington Post reported that more than sixty percent of adults in England are overweight or obese. We’ve written about this before,but the trend seems to be growing—along with people’s pant sizes. Apparently Jamie Oliver‘s healthy food habits haven’t caught on in his homeland. (Maybe it’s time he turn his focus back to the U.K. after working on our Americanhealth habits!)
But wait. The United States hasn’t exactly gotten on board with healthy eating either: the nation had the highest obesity rate of all countries, as of March 2013: a reported 2/3 of all adults (people over 20 years of age) are overweight and an approximate 1/3 of Americans are obese. Right below the United States is Mexico, who has an obesity rate of about 25%.
Have you ever seen a picture or video of food that made you sick just from looking at it? That’s what happened when we saw a video from the Travel Channel’s popular show Man v. Food. The dish was so piled with meats, cheeses, sauces, and who knows what else, it could no longer be identified as food.
We know that food challenges aren’t the only culprit when it comes to shameful servings, so we decided to come up with a rap sheet for the worst food felons. Here’s our Most Wanted list of top culinary criminals starting with the simply overindulgent and ending with the disgustingly gluttonous.
Wanted for: Imitating a Healthy Beverage – Green Tea Latte
Starting off our list is the deceptive Green Tea Latte from Starbucks. Getting a venti (20 oz.) of this beverage with whole milk will cost you 500 calories and 71 grams of sugar. So much for the idea of green tea always being a healthy choice.
Wanted for: Ridiculous Use of Sugar – Ice Cream Sandwiches
Disney, it’s a happy, magical place. It’s also a place where you can get ice cream sandwiches as big as your face. The two homemade chocolate chip cookies and three heaping scoops of ice cream are delicious, but I speak from experience when I say you’ll have sugar shakes and nausea for hours after eating.
Supersizing—though the official term, created by McDonald’s in the 1990s, has disappeared from fast food places, the concept never really left. Consumers will still purchase, and generally eat more food if they feel like they are getting a better deal.
“We know the health implications of a giant latte or supersized fries, so a little justification through feeling financially savvy and saving money makes us feel better about our decision and increases consumption,” said Kelly L. Haws, a marketing researcher Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt University.
Haws is part of a research team that recently found consumers aren’t just looking for deals on unhealthy fast food meals. In fact, Haws and co-author Karen Winterich found that the supersizing effect works just as well on healthier food choices.
Inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Super Size Me, science teacher John Cisna from Iowa decided to help take his students’ education out of the classroom. He engaged in a three month experiment much like Spurlock’s, eating McDonald’s every day, but instead of indulging and not exercising, he followed a more structured program which he discussed on TODAY.
Cisna’s students put the menus together which included nearly everything on the McDonald’s menu from salads to Big Macs to sundaes.
His students tracked his caloric intake and 15 different nutrients Read Full Post >
Update 12/26: McDonald’s has announced it is taking down it’s employee resource site for good. Lisa McComb, spokeswoman for McDonald’s released this statement, “We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald’s employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we’ve directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwanted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald’s team members. We’ll continue to provide service to them through an internal telephone help line, which is how the majority of employees access the McResource services.”
A surprising new source is offering healthy eating advice: McDonald’s. The company recently launched a website with easy-to-follow, sensible dietary advice for its busy employee. But the suggestions made on the site may surprise you: In an effort to promote healthy eating McDonald’s actually casts many of its own foods in a less than positive light. As you can see here, in this image pulled directly from the employee site, the fast food retailer has chosen some of its own food to represent an unhealthy meal:
That’s right: McDonald’s, home of a 750 calorie cheeseburger, is offering its employees sage eating advice, recommending their employees, “eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups and vegetables to help maintain your best health.” (In other words, not at McDonald’s.)While the fast food giant does offer salads many are loaded with fat and calories, including one that maxes out at 450 calories. These meals are healthier than a Big Mac, but not by much.