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In The News: Poor, Innocent McDonald’s

The January 2008 issue of Reason magazine includes a controversial article on the “unfair” double standards suffered by fast food restaurants.

According to author Greg Beato, McDonald’s and other greasy food meccas bear the brunt of unhealthy offerings and public health policies despite even worse fare available at some local mom ‘n pop stores or delis.

Before America fell in love with cheap, convenient, standardized junk food, it loved cheap, convenient, independently deep-fried junk food,” writes Beato.

While it is true that so-called traditional “American” fare consists of hamburgers, hot dogs, and apple pie, fast food restaurants take traditional comfort food and turn it into an artery-clogging equation.

Think about the following. McDonald’s originally only offered one size of fries — the 250-calorie version currently found inside a Happy Meal!

These companies have chosen to inflate their portions to such a degree that we now have four beef patties, eight strips of bacon, and six slices of cheese in between two buns.

You can get 2 liters of soda in a cup or, in the case of Hardee’s new breakfast burrito, a day’s worth of fat first thing in the morning.

A large order of McDonald’s fries will set you back 800 calories (and provide 400% of the recommended maximum intake of trans fats for one day!)

Additionally, fast food chains are basically accessible any place at any time. More locations are increasingly keeping their doors open 24 hours a day, and a road trip down any major (or not so major) highway in the United States reveals a landscape littered with Domino’s, KFC, Wendy, Burger King, and more.

And while delis offer their share of fat-laden bombs, truly healthy choices are available. In the case of fast food establishments, it is always about choosing the “lesser of the evils.”

What do you think?

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One Comment

  1. Chris Davis said on December 14th, 2007

    McDonald’s also likes to advertise to children inside of their school report cards. Check out this photo from the Chicago Tribune:

    McDonald’s Report Card Ad

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