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 (more…)
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.
On Tuesday, Burger King debuted their new “Satisfries,” which have 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than their traditional french fries.
It took Burger King 10 years to engineer a special batter that would absorb less oil while still maintaining a crispy exterior. Operative word – engineered. Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutrition expert for Biggest Loser, told us, “The new fry appears to be more processed, more of a potato product with some type of batter that absorbs less oil.”
A regular sized order of the crinkle cut “Satisfries” contains 340 calories, 14g of fat, and 370mg of sodium, so these fries are healthyishnot healthy. A medium order of their standard fries has 403 calories, 17g of fat, and 572mg of sodium.
“One out of every two Burger King guests orders our classic French fries and we know our guests are hungry for options that are better for them,” said Burger King president Alex Macedo.
While these fries may be healthier than their fast food counterparts, taste tests have proved people prefer the greasy, hi-fat old standbys. However, BK must be doing something right, their stock rose 0.2 percent yesterday.
McDonald’s recently announced it’s toying with the idea of revamping their Dollar Menu to include other price points up to and including five dollars. If the new menu is adopted, the Extra Value Menu would then be eliminated. Now, even their cheap food just got more expensive. This menu switcheroo begs the question, “Why are people still eating fat food – err, fast food, when they could eat healthy for the same price?”
The new offering retitled, “Dollar Menu & More” is currently being tested in five U.S. markets. New prices on the list would include $1, $2 and $5 items. The specific foods slated to be featured on the experimental value menu have not been released but Neil Golden, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s, hinted that more chicken would be included, as well as burgers with extra patties, and the addition of other toppings including bacon. You mean if I want more food, I have to pay more money? Ronald McDonald, you sly devil, you.
Eating out as a vegetarian who says no to dairy (most of the time) is a challenge. That’s why I don’t do it often. But fast food can be a necessary evil on a busy day of errands, if I forget my lunch, or if I’m traveling. While chain restaurants are being required to post calories, calories don’t provide the whole story. Lower calorie options can be loaded with sugar and lack protein, leaving you unsatisfied and headed toward a blood sugar crash.
Eating healthy on the gomeans being prepared and doing your research. It helps to have a go-to list of preselected options so you can grab and go. Try these fast food finds to make eating on the go a little healthier.
Denny’s Fit Fare menu: At IDEA Personal Trainer Institute West, I had the privilege of having breakfast with Kymberly and Alexandra from FunandFit.org. When Denny’s, which was across the street from our hotel, was suggested I was skeptical. I was pleasantly surprised however by their Fit Fare menu. Since they serve breakfast all day, try the Veggie Skillet. With egg whites, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms and potatoes it has 20 grams of protein and only 330 calories. While it may not be as fast they do offer take out service. (more…)
Food costs at a restaurant are the most critical to the business’ bottom line. That’s why many restaurants cut corners and you’ll often find their kitchens piled high with nameless, low-quality ingredients to ensure they can mass produce meals at a value while still turning a profit. That’s not how it works at Chipotle though, where they say it’s “worth it to spend a little bit more.”
We spoke with Chris Arnold, PR director for Chipotle Mexican Grill, who told us Chipotle has some of the highest food costs in the restaurant industry. Even still, they are able to “invest more in quality food and still be very profitable.”
Chipotle just became the first American restaurant to work toward clearing its menu of all GMO foods, something that will equally drive food costs while improving quality. The company knows there will be cost implications, exactly how much at this time they can’t say, but it’s not uncharted territory for them. “Making decisions that result in higher food costs is nothing new to us,” said Arnold.
The brand was asupporter of Prop 37last year, the California bill that aimed to require labeling of GMO ingredients on all foods sold in the U.S. It was then that the brand started to hold itself to the same standard it was asking of others. Arnold explained that their first move was purely disclosure, to let their customers know which foods had GMOs.
“We think people have the right to know what’s in their food,” said Arnold. (more…)
In the release, Facebook’s Mandy Zibart said, “Ranking of the fittest cities is based on fitness-related mentions, check-ins and use of fitness apps over a period of three months in U.S. cities with at least 200,000 Facebook users.” We think it’s a lot of talk though. Some of the cities included in the graph must have been giving themselves too much credit when they shared their activities, as some of the data is contradictory with other, more fact-based studies.
Facebook claims that El Paso and San Antonio, TX are among the 10 fittest cities in America. Earlier this year, Men’s Health listed both of those cities among the fattest in the nation, citing obesity and lack of physical activity among the population, and the prevalence of fast food joints in the area. (more…)
For many healthy-minded consumers, calorie postings on menus and menu boards greatly impact their decision when making food selections. While grabbing food on the go, it’s useful to know how this item will fit into a person’s allotted daily calories. Even though it may not feel like overeating, before you know it, you’ve consumed over half of the recommended daily calories.
For instance, see the calories in typical menu items. Seeing and internalizing the number of calories allows us to realize that snacks and seemingly healthy foods may, in fact, not be so healthy at all.
Medium fries – 380 calories
Gourmet cupcake – 300-600 calories
Grilled chicken salad with dressing – 400 calories
Our country’s obesity epidemic is growing exponentially much like the waistbands of many Americans. Just twenty years ago, no states had obesity rates above 15 percent. Today, 38 states have obesity rates more than 25 percent and the U.S. national obesity rate is a record 37.5 percent. Americans are eating more of their food outside their homes, whether dining out, purchasing prepared food, or grabbing a vending machine treat. (more…)
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