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    Burger King’s New Breakfast…. Is More Of The Same

    bk-new-breakfast-menu-items-590Hyperbolic press releases, pricey media campaigns, and plenty of advertising fanfare accompanied the recent unveiling of Burger King’s new breakfast menu.  Higher-ups were quick to point out that the addition of these items to the Burger King breakfast lineup  were the company’s “largest menu expansion ever”.  Like, OMG!

    According to Mike Kapitt, the chain’s chief marketing officer for North America, this menu was designed to “compete to be America’s wake-up call”, and he had no doubt the “quality, variety, and value” on the menu would make Burger King the “breakfast destination”.

    If these new items are America’s wake-up call, then the U.S. of A should smash its alarm clock against the wall and keep snoozing.  Let’s dissect the nutritional bombs unveiled by Burger King, from least to most explosive:

    • Mini Blueberry Biscuits with “sweet, tasty icing dip”: Calorically, these four mini biscuits may seem rather harmless, clocking at a non-offensive 390.  Alas, that innocence goes out the window when you also consider that this breakfast item contains:
      • 15 grams of saturated fat (three quarters of a day’s worth, mainly from full-fat dairy)
      • 30 grams of added sugar (assuming some of those are naturally occurring from the blueberries, that still leaves about 5 entire teaspoons)
      • 830 milligrams of sodium (20 more milligrams than the chain’s bacon cheeseburger!)
      • And, of course, an icing dip with an ingredient list worthy of a science fair experiment: “Liquid sugar, icing sugar, glucose, water, sugar, propylene glycol, salt, xantham gum, titanium dioxide, artificial and natural flavors, potassium sorbate, agar, cellulose gum, phosphoric acid”
    • Breakfast Ciabatta Club Sandwich: Don’t be fooled by the “made with whole grain” claim; this bread lists enriched wheat flour (AKA “white flour”) as its first ingredient, hence the paltry 2 grams of fiber in the entire final product.  The presence of ham, cheese, and a “smoky tomato sauce” turn this calorically decent 480 calorie breakfast into a sodium nightmare (at 1,270 milligrams, it offers exactly half of a day’s worth!)
    • Pancake & Sausage Platter: According to the Burger King copywriters, “you can’t spell breakfast without “sausage” and “pancakes”.  While I try to figure out what that’s supposed to mean, chew on these nutrition facts:
      • 670 calories
      • 9 grams saturated fat (45% of a day’s worth, mainly from processed meat)
      • 36 grams (9 teaspoons) of added sugar — almost as much as a can of soda
      • 1,010 milligrams of sodium (about as much as 14 of the chain’s Chicken Tenders)
      • Not surprisingly, the pancake is a conglomeration of sugar, white flour, and omega-6-rich soybean oil
      • The sausage, meanwhile, contains corn syrup solids, monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated soybean oil, “grill flavor”, and modified corn starch
    • Ultimate Breakfast Platter: Remember, this is all supposed to be America’s wake-up call (as if we haven’t suffered enough, “running on Dunkin'” all these years).  And, oh yeah, I seem to remember the word “quality” thrown in somewhere.  And so we come to the ruling breakfast item of the bunch, which offers “scrambled eggs, crispy hash browns, sizzling sausage, a warm and flaky biscuit, and three fluffy pancakes with syrup.”  Here are the numbers:
      • 1,310 calories (more than what is offered by 2 large orders of the chain’s large fries)
      • 26 grams of saturated fat (slightly over a day’s worth; again, from animal products)
      • 1 gram of trans fat
      • 2,490 milligrams of sodium (a full day’s worth)
      • 41 grams of added sugar (as much as a can of soda)
      • The egg mix, by the way, is loaded with omega-6 fatty acids, thanks to the presence of soybean oil.  Oh, and there is also natural and artificial “butter flavor” in there.

    And, so we come to the ever-familiar conclusion when dealing with fast food chains’ new items: same subsidized crop byproducts, different shape and name.

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