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The Dirty Dozen: How 25 percent of Americans are Dying from the Food They Eat

February 9, 2010 by  

The Dirty Dozen: How 25 percent of Americans are Dying from the Food They Eat

Given our fast-paced, stressed-to-the-max lifestyle, it is no wonder that 25 percent of Americans eat at fast-food restaurants every day! That’s one in four people opting for low nutrition, high calorie, bad tasting, done-in-a-jiffy food. And it’s killing us.

Diseases like obesity, high blood pressure, fatty liver and high cholesterol are more prevalent in today’s high-tech health-conscience society than in the past, when we were ignorant about such things. And there’s truly no excuse for it!

One look at Eric Schlosser’s documentary, Fast Food Nation, tells the tale in all its devastating morbidity. Forget about E.coli and sub-standard working conditions and the tumors cut off the sides of beef before processing it for burgers done “your way.” Forget about the cheap toys restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King use to attract the kids, and by extension the family, in for a potentially life-shortening meal.

Let’s talk good health and stick to the facts. In terms of food, that means keeping a tight leash on calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium. And if we Americans are too tied to our fatty burgers and deep fried chicken, or we’re just too pressed for time and money to make the necessary change… then at least we can face the enemy armed with the truth about our fast-food indulgence.

I was in the process of researching the nutritional facts from 12 of the more popular chains when a copy of Aramark Corporation’s “Guide to Fast Food” came across my desk. In this little gem I found the “tale of the tape” on 20 of the country’s most popular fast food chains. Starbucks, too! And if you think eating at Subway is good for you because of that guy from the commercial… think again. And if you think chicken served in these restaurants is a better choice than beef… you’ve been misled.

Of the 20 fast food restaurants listed in the guide I’ve culled information from 12, and I call them “The Dirty Dozen.” Below are some tables based on the information published by Aramark, as provided by the franchises themselves, or found on their websites. I call these tables, “The Worst of the Worst” (i.e., things never to eat), and “The Best of the Worst” (i.e., things almost never to eat). I then list the worst and best from the selected Dirty Dozen, in terms of overall numbers of calories, fat, cholesterol and sodium.

The Worst of the Worst

 
Calories
Carbs (g)
Fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Baskin-Robbins Chocolate Shake
750
80
43
115
290
Boston Market 1/4 Dark Meat w/ Skin
320
2
21
180
460
Burger King BK Big Fish Sandwich
710
67
38
105
1110
Dairy Queen Grilled Chicken Filet Sandwich
310
30
10
50
1040
Domino’s Pepperoni Hand Tossed (2 SL)
448
55
18
38
776
Dunkin’ Donuts Blueberry Muffin
490
76
17
75
610
KFC Hot & Spicy Chicken Breast
505
23
29
162
1170
Krispy Kreme Glazed Devil’s Food Donut
390
41
24
5
250
McDonald’s  Biscuit w/ Bacon, Egg, Cheese
540
36
34
250
1550
Subway
6" Subway Club, Cold
294
40
5
30
1250
Taco Bell
Taco Salad w/ Salsa
850
65
52
60
1780
Wendy’s Big Bacon Classic
580
45
31
95
1500

 

The Best of the Worst

 
Calories
Carbs (g)
Fat (g)
Cholesterol (mg)
Sodium (mg)
Baskin-Robbins Ice Daiquiri Scoop
130
33
0
0
10
Boston Market Steamed Vegetables
35
7
0.05
0
35
Burger King Small Hash Browns
240
25
15
0
460
Dairy Queen Fudge Bar (No Sugar Added)
50
13
0
0
70
Domino’s Cheese hand Tossed (2 SL)
375
55
11
23
776
Dunkin’ Donuts Low-Fat Bran Muffin
260
59
2
0
440
KFC Mashed Potatoes w/ Gravy
120
17
6
0
440
Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Donut
210
18
16
40
800
McDonald’s Hash Browns
130
14
8
0
330
Subway Veggie Delight
200
37
2.5
0
500
Taco Bell
Taco
170
12
10
30
330
Wendy’s Small French Fries
270
35
13
0
85

 

The Worst and Best of the Worst

Highest Calories 890 Pizza Hut—Medium Stuffed Crust Cheese Pizza (2 slices)
Lowest Calories 35 Boston Market—Steamed Veggies
Highest Carbohydrates (g) 0 Pizza Hut—Medium Cheese Stuffed-Crust Pizza (2 slices)
Lowest Carbohydrates (g) 0 Boston Market—1/4 White Meat, No skin, Without Wing
Highest Fat (g) 52 Taco Bell—Taco Salad w/ Salsa
Lowest Fat (g) 0 Baskin Robbins—Ice Daiquiri, Regular Scoup
Highest Cholesterol (mg) 250 Burger King—Croissan’wich w/ Sausage, Egg, Cheese
Highest Cholesterol (mg) 250 McDonald’s—Biscuit w/ Bacon, Egg, Cheese
Lowest Cholesterol (mg) 0 Plenty of items with no Cholesterol, such as plain baked potato, steamed veggies, salads without dressing, water
Highest Sodium (mg) 2,180 Pizza Hut—Medium Stuffed Crust Cheese Pizza (2 slices)
Lowest Sodium (mg) 10 Baskin Robbins—Ice Daiquiri, Regular Scoop

 

And the big looser is… Pizza Hut. It ranked No. 1 on three of the Worst of the Worst lists. And that’s no great achievement!

Ok, so now you know that what seemed “good” (e.g., chicken, turkey, fish) is actually bad when prepared the fast food way, in terms of calories, fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol and sodium content. And you also know that what these chains serve up as “good for you” food is as boring as a collection of ballpoint pen tops. But you’ve just got to eat fast food because time and money are rooting for the dark side. So where does that leave us…

Well, here are some tips, if you absolutely MUST eat fast food:

  1. Go for the salads, veggies, potatoes (no sour cream or bacon)
  2. Broiled is better than fried
  3. Never eat anything breaded
  4. Deep fried is out of the question
  5. Water is the only drink for you
  6. Hold the salt, there’s plenty already in there
  7. No desert, thank you.

But the real issue here is being responsible and taking control of your own health and wellness… and by extension, your longevity. How about working on time management and money allocation? How about preparing your lunch the night before and brown bagging it a couple days a week? Then, with the money you’ve saved on food, and the time you’ve saved going to the death chain, you can treat yourself to a better-for-you meal at a nicer restaurant with more choices.

In the end, the fast food restaurants and the doctors you’ll see for your cholesterol, blood pressure, diabetes and cancer don’t give a damn about you. It’s only you and the ones that love you who care. And if you don’t care enough about yourself, then how about taking care of No. 1 for the people who love you?

So it’s time again to eat and a decision is eminent. You can easily choose the fast food road to death. Or you can make the lifestyle change necessary to extend yourself a healthy and happy life. It’s your choice.

—Dr. Mark Wiley

Jeffrey R. Matthews

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  • s c

    What can be said about people who react to food and drink like Pavlov’s dog? Americans have been ‘conditioned’ to respond just like Pavlov’s dog (that’s how they look at us, too).
    It’s not until you realize who benefits most from our bad habits that you can understand the ‘politics’ in being a typical American consumer. We are surrounded by people who look at us like numbers manipulated to maximize profits.
    In the process, we are not a healthy nation. We were slowly conditioned to accept inferior food and drink. We can ‘unlearn’ this bad behavior, and we can distance ourselves from those who worship profit(s) at our expense.
    Get healthy. Stay healthy. Save money, and keep makers of inferior food and drink out of your life and your wallet at the same time. It makes no sense to get sick, just to make someone else rich or powerful.

  • john Hasse

    while you are clearly correct that such a diet is not conducive to health, I would contend that none of your parameters..(carbs fat cholesterol or sodium) are significant measures of the health (or lack of it) producing power of food.

  • George

    Your not living. Your existing. You completely overlook the need of enjoyment in eating. If I tried to follow this diet for anytime at all I would proablly die of boredom. I would rather spend my money medical doctors than I would a shrink.

    • DaveH

      There is some truth to that George. A professor once told us “You can forego smoking, drinking, caffeine, sugar, and other risky behavior. You might not live any longer, but it will sure seem like it!”.
      Much more important than living a long life is that you are happy with your life. That’s why the one-size-fits-all policies of Big Government fail miserably.

    • Edy

      :) You must not be sick yet!

      My husband and I are 60, and we have been forced to slow our lives down enough to take the time to eat right. We have learned to make recipes that are superb in taste and quality. We both had high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. We opted for correcting it with our diets (and yes that means NO fast food!).

      This nation cannot “afford” healthcare until we get a handle on our eating. We cannot get a handle on our eating until the FDA does its job by reigning big pharma. and forcing ALL farmers to grow ORGANIC. Cows weren’t meant to eat corn, and they are not good for us. Why doesn’t the FDA make them feed cows grass and free range them?

      People need to get a clue that their GOVERNMENT has a great deal to do with their lack of health. Very weird, but true!

      • JIM

        Edy, that is a fair question and I have the answer for you.I am a small grower of grass/dry hay free range beef 40 head or so. It takes me up to 2 years to get a animal up to 1200LBS. A feedlot can do it with hormone shots and high protein feeds in 5-6 months. It’s a simple matter of economics america wants cheap beef. And to be honest the fat hormone grown beef is more liked than mine. It’s tender, well flavored and cheap but it is a killer. My production is mostly for myself,family and a few close friends because I could never make any money doing it the natural way. It just takes to long and to much feed to get them to market. But you are correct grass fat is much better for your health.

      • DaveH

        Edy,
        The FDA is much more likely to go the other way. That is to hamper organic farmers and supplement producers. The best thing the Government could do is to butt out of the marketplace and confine themselves to being advisors.
        While our healthy eating habits may be the correct course, it is none of our business to force that choice on other people.
        Big Government is the Problem, Not the Solution.

  • Jim Allen

    I do not appreciate seeing a donut laying on the flag of our United States of America. How can anyone be so crude to take such a picture. If we don’t return pride in our country, it won’t make any difference what we eat.

    …..and so it goes~~

    • Chuck Olson

      Dunkin’ Donuts is currently running a contest with a prize of $12,000 for a new donut designed by the consumer. Maybe someone can come up with a donut that had no fat, no sodium and no sugar. But, then it wouldn’t be a donut.

      • David

        That’s not correct, my wife cooks waffle cookies with one or more of the following combinations: whole wheat flower, flakseed, oat flower, cinnamin and the kids and myself can’t even tell the difference, but of course they would cost more but are healthy and taste as good or better.

        • http://citizenscommunication conrad

          I WOULD HAVE THAT RECIPT FOR THOSE HOMEMADE DONUTS

        • Ruth Hunt

          You mean flour, don’t you?

    • Marianne Sanders

      Jim, I agree. It is downright disrespectful to the flag. I remember the days when the boyscouts would put the school flags up each morning and take them down each evening. The flags were often handled with gloves and were saluted every time. In the evening they would be carefully folded. I now see flags up on homes, which is great – but what is too bad is sometimes they are up at night and not illuminated properly. Seems like all the niceties have gone out the window with our society.

    • DaveH

      Sure,
      We should worship a flag instead of the Individual Liberty that this country was designed to insure.

    • Steve

      Jim, Pay no attention to a donut on a flag. To me, the flag doesn’t mean all that much (just showing allegiance to a fascist state) It is the Consitution and Bills of Right you should drive the people toward, to honor and defend.

      Edy’s right about being responsible for diet, but Dave H hit the nail on the head about gov forcing ANYTHING! When folks realize that the USDA and FDA are not out there to protect us, but cater to corporations, we will all take responsibility for what we put in our mouths and expect our systems to digest.

      Go ahead, drink, smoke and eat whatever you like. My parents did! They both died young though and recently. Both with clogged arteries and emphysema. Don’t live to eat. Eat to live. Ask yourself when you take that bite, “Is this providing sustainable fuel for my body to fucntion, or is this just building ridges of plaque on my arterial walls?”

      • Steve

        If you look at the picture, the donut appears to be lying on the table with the flag spread around it. I don’t think it is actually on the flag.

  • http://foxnews Buddy

    I wish someone would come out whit a book with foods for Breakfast,lunch,dinner like a menu pick an choose.When going out if you dare go to Mc Donalds look in your menu book what you can eat.Not a book that you have to get your calcalater out an start adding calories up.

    Buddy

  • http://www.easyinvest.co.za pete

    Thanks for that – I always wondered why I hate those fast food joints. Never eaten from Kentucky, MacDonalds or Pizza Hut – cook at home – vege’s in water with garlic and herb – I am seventy going on 30! Vege sossies are really good and baked fish Fillet of 74 fab!

    Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • http://Don'thaveone Sally

      Pete you are so right. I cook for my husband at home – on a very rare ocassion a birthday perhaps, we go out to eat because most of the foot is junk, tasteless. We are in very good health, a little over weight (i stoped smoking 27 weeks ago but the weight will come off)72 and 74 respectively.

  • Chester Lundy

    mc donalds is better than the crap fed to are children at school.i eat what i want to eat,next the gov will mandate everything we eat. do you want that?

    • DaveH

      Well, get used to it Chester, because if we don’t wake up and push back hard, the Nanny State is where we are headed.

    • Maria

      I DON’T THINK SO !!!! Not ALL schools serve the same things! And there are salads and yogurt and fresh fruit for them to pick. THEY pick the wrong things! It shouldn’t be the school cafeteria’s responsibility to MAKE the students eat the proper foods. It is up to the parents to TELL THEM to pick the proper foods.
      I’m tired of people blaming the school cafeteria’s for their children’s obesity !!!!!!!!

  • Geo

    OK, ok, ok, I get it. I know that these things technically kill us a day at a time. I have no doubt about that. Matter of fact I know I feel better when I avoid these foods… kinda… However If I do not have my fatty foods my body somehow forgets how to poop…

    Beyond all of that I have to ask, if all of these foods are so bad for us, then why are we living longer than when they never had these foods… historically speaking people rarely lived into their 100′s until more recently, or if you read about Methuselah… Matter of fact I happen to have a little book called “The Modern Home and Office Dictionary” published in 1935, so its old, but it has some very interesting factoids that we rarely hear about… Factoid #1 A 6′ male in 1935 had an average weight of 173# The weights range from 153# (for a 15-19 year old) to 184# (for a 50-54 year old) interestingly 54 years old was the highest number… In that same book they have the American table of Mortality, According to the book there were 3 Americans over the age of 95, the chart did not go any higher…

    The chart does not indicate that it was in thousands, but that would not make sense since they have the estimated number of 10 year olds to be 100,000 and if that was in the thousands then that would mean that there was 100 million 10 year olds in 1935 in the US, There is only 300 million people in the US today…

    So what does this tell me?
    1) we are living longer, in spite of our nutrition, and our lousy eating habits than we were 75 years ago.
    2) We need to be careful, if we keep pounding on the door complaining about how bad our food is and how it is killing us, the government will step in and then we will no longer have that bad choice to make… Personally I like the fact that I can choose to eat what I want… I do not want to be nudged, or taxed, or told I cannot eat this or that, I want to eat what I want, when I want…
    3) S C, That is what makes this country great, profits, believe it or not, that is why we are…errr…”were” the biggest superpower to EVER be on the face of the earth… The government started us down the road of anti-prosperity in the early 1900′s Ok it was under President Wilson, and we have never looked back. Interestingly personally I get ill if I only eat and drink “Heathy” foods… I happen to be allergic to Milk, Wheat, yeast, oranges, chicken, and many vegetables.. If I eat only those things I feel absolutely horrible.. Sure I am an exception, but I try not to make generalities. Our longevity and our body is based more on our genetics than it is our eating habits… I have two kids, one is from another marriage, both kids live with us primarily, The one that lives with us all the time is skinny as all get out, my wife (who is an RN) says that he is like a perfect specimen obviously he got his mothers and my genes. My daughther on the other hand is and always has been a bit chunkey, she cannot get the weight off to save her life, and its more or less the way she is, she eats similarly to what everyone else eats, and she does not eat as much as her little brother either as it seems, but there she is. In short, she got the genes of her dad… So that really has to ponder what is going on?

    I just believe there is more to this whole thing about being healthy about what you eat… I believe its a puzzle, and the doctors & statisticians have not figured it all out… It is a puzzle of primarily genome, then your eating and exercise habits… If we got rid of all those foods in the chart above, I suspect we would have similar overweight people in the US… All of this goes far beyond a simple article…

    Interesting read, but I am skeptical.

    • Terry

      I believe you are 99 percent Right on the Money

    • http://personalliberitydigest Dave

      I agree with you 100%! I thinbk many of these etablishments get a bad rap as the people who seek out this info want to enginner our behavior to the point where we are all the same. It’s Ok to enjoy your food once in a while.

    • Dr. Mark Wiley

      Geo, studies indicate that we are living longer today because of a combination of factors, including the reduction in disease, some medical advances, structural changes and dietary considerations among other things. We cannot just point to one area for the answer.

      • DaveH

        For those of us who voluntarily eat healthy, there are a greater number of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts available to us year around than ever before in history. I believe that is the biggest factor in our longevity.

    • Edy

      I believe that we live longer today because life is not as difficult for one thing. The other thing is that big pharma. has come up with lots of pills to remove the symptoms of our illnesses — it prolongs the illness, but we live longer.

  • Dr. Glen Clifton

    IT’S NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU EAT!!!! IT’S HOW MUCH YOU EAT AND WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU EAT!!! AMERICANS HAVE BECOME LAZY, SEDENTARY, COUCH POTATOES….WITH NO DESIRE TO “GET OUT AND EXERCISE!” DR. G.

    • Mina

      Thank you Dr. Clifton!!! Finally a voice of reason…We tend to forget that our bodies are like machines that need good fuel. Like always: An apple a day keeps the doctor and the dentist away.

      • s c

        Mina, to your basic list (dentists and MDs) please add food producers and politicians who worship money. By getting and staying healthy, you can keep dentists, MDs, politicans (yes, even politicians) and money-hungry food producers at a distance.
        Believe it or not, it takes common sense (and a plan) to stay healthy in this country. That will never change as long as we are viewed as dumbed-down stooges by people in ‘responsible’ professions AND by the “best” government MONEY can buy.

    • TIME

      Glen,
      Your oh so righ! My God the amounts of food some folks eat makes me sick. If people could just put down the fork and walk away with food still on the plate.

      Doc, I eat fresh foods as in a lot of veggies, meats chicken & fish, BUT now and then a good PHAT Bad Boy Burger hits the spot, I never finish it but man its great for the moment!

      Good Blog, Thanks Doc Mark!

      • Dr. Mark Wiley

        My pleasure. I am here as a point of departure for conversation and investigation, so I am glad when everyone shares their views. Most things are not going to kill anyone in moderation. The problem is the daily or several times weekly consumption of horrendous foods… which, sadly, is the American case. Enjoy your Phat burger now and then… just don’t enjoy one too often :)

        • eyeswideropened

          Bingo!, Doc. Moderation of all the food groups is the key element, so enjoy everyone,”in moderation.”

          • http://yahoo Nancy

            It is all in our choices. And we do have lots of choices
            After you reach beyond 40 years, you begin to realize your body becomes more sluggish, you have less stamina and you often begin to have chronic symptoms (like high cholesterol, arthritis, high blood sugars etc.)Life is less pleasant with these symptoms. I have discovered by much research that refined foods (packaged), meats and dairy products, fried foods all take their toll. My husband and I went to all fresh fruits & vegetables and whole grains (no meat or dairy and only olive or cannola oils. Our Cholesterol dropped 100 points each and we have much more energy, never get sick & feel great (age 69).Our enjoyment is now only in this diet. Not fast foods (ugh)

  • hermannelson

    I like jumbo Jacks w/o cheese. But I only eat them once in while. When I am away from home for the day or traveling. None of these foods will hurt you as long you don’t eat them all the time. It’s not business of Govt to mandate what we eat.

  • http://comcast delores

    We meed more of these rude awakenings to think about. Thx. and keep them comming.

  • Ruby

    s c: you’re right…fast food is very addictive…and that’s why so many people can’t stay away. It’s not just our lifestyle that keeps us going back. Like any addiction, you simply stop, and eventually, you don’t feel that need anymore.

    George: you’re so typically “ME generation”…who cares, it’s all about self-indulgence and self-gratification. Have you given thought to gratification and satisfaction in knowing you’re being a good steward of your health?

  • Conservative Carl

    On breakfast items at fast food places I generally something without bacon,ham or sausage and, if it comes with the meat, take it out. The grilled or veggie subs at Subway taste good also. We generally avoid hamburgers and fries because of the fat and cholesterol to curb high blood pressure.
    Someone mentioned having to eat fat to be able to use the bathroom, but if you eat a handful of almonds daily you should have no problem. We can find any excuse to eat high fat and high sodium food until we get health problems are are forced to change our diets.

    • http://Don'thaveone Sally

      There is no proof at all that fat causes high colestrol, no salt causes high blood pressure. Both items you need in your diet. Many years ago my husband and I went on the Dr. Atkins high protein, low carb method of eating. My husband had high colestrol and trigliserizeds. They all went down to normal. A friend of ours who has had Type 2 diabetes for years went on the same eating method – his Dr. said I don’t know what you are doing but keep it up as his diabetes disappeared. After reading many many articles by different Dr.’s, it is said that if you want to thward Diatetes 2, to have plenty of fat in your diet = no margarine real butter, red meat, pork etc etc etc.

      • Claire

        High cholesterol can be inherited, same as diabetes. If a person has the inherited kind, then they do have to watch what they eat and try to exercise. I think the inherited kind is harder to deal with. If I end up with high cholesterol or diabetes, mine will be inherited since my Mother had both, and my sisters have both. I am still hanging in there. Since I have show dogs, believe me I get plenty of exercise and do a lot of running. A person has to remain active. It is good for the mind and body. But geez, I get tired at times. Oh, and a having a big garden helps!

  • Disgusted

    I would suggest that everyone see these two movies: Food, Inc. and The Future of Food. Once you have viewed these two movies you will understand why the food being manufactured today is killing us.

    • Edy

      We just watched Food, Inc. last night. We were aware of the problem, but this spells out the problem in a way that we could really see how big it is. We eat as much organic as we can, and free range meet. As the investigative reporter said in the movie, “Big business and the government protecting them is too big to fight, but you can vote three times a day by WHAT you choose to buy.” When you buy organic vegetables, fruits, dairy, and meats, you can vote against the “big guys” every time you eat!

      Even Walmart is carrying organic foods now, and look at their milk…some is available from cows without the added hormones in it! We need someone as big as Walmart on OUR SIDE!

      • http://yahoo Nancy

        You can be sure there are no hormones in Soy Milk

  • Fred Friederich

    We all know what we like to eat, and deep down we know that we should not eat some foods all the time.
    but I have seen a lot of people who were overweight, and yet lived longer, than many thin friends and family members. this is seldom talked about, because I think people place more on how bad fat people
    look, rather than how long they live. I have many family members who never did any exercise in a whole
    lifetime, and lived into late 80s and beyond. As I said this does not fit the template, so is not looked at.

    • Mina

      Actually, the fact that some larger people live longer and are healthier than some thinner people has been looked at…How much you weigh does not always indicate how healthy you are. Sometimes a thin person is really malnourished. It also depends on how fat is distributed in the body. Alot of fat around the waist indicates stress which can cause heart disease, whereas fat carried in the hip area is not so bad. This is true for women anyway…Ask Dr. Oz.

    • http://yahoo Nancy

      When you look at those people in late 90s and 100s, they are all thin people and usually very active.

  • Joyce

    Another problem we have is lack of activity. We drive everywhere we go, even to the store three blocks away. We hire people to do our house cleaning and our yard work. You would be amazed to find out how many calories you burn just cleaning your house! Exercise is also good for diminishing your appetite. The body was made to move and the more steady your blood pumps, the better the health of the body. Simply walking 3 miles a day, four days a week, will also build up the bone density, a real problem for women during menopause.

    • Mina

      You said it all Joyce!!!

  • Alex

    People just don’t care. Our country is being destroyed by people who never could have created it. They know nothing of sacrifice for the greater good of anything. Prepare my own lunch, are you kidding me. These are lame overweight urban city dwellers that know nothing about nutrient dence dieting. Just lavishing their faces, being fattend for the kill. They would trade the Bill of Rights for two all beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onion on a sesame seed bun.

  • Fred Friederich

    I made and ate my own lunch, at the plant that I worked in for 40 years. Dare I say I was the
    only one with a brown bag at the table. We still eat at home most of the time. The problem is
    parents that will not say no to their Children, and let them eat whatever they want, and as much
    as they want rather than fight with them about it. Remember we are told by all the experts, we
    must be our childs best friend. At some point they will see that is bull corn as well, but as the World
    turns, all of the grand ideas of Man will pass away. And common sense will again rule.

  • TeresaE

    The one positive outcome of the coming debasement of our dollar and forced health care/carbon taxes.

    Our processed foods, including fast food fare, are going to become very expensive.

    Good for our health. Sadly, the “gain” will be offset by starvation and pharmaceuticals I fear.

    • s c

      TeresaE, I’m hoping that the few honorable lawyers we have left in America will do to fast-food and processed food producers what was done to the tobacco industry. No one in his or her right mind can justify the health-destroying food that so many people take for granted across America.
      If you want a good example of the scope of what is going on, ask someone who was recently in a combat zone what they think of MREs (and what is in them). MREs should be standard fare in Congress and the White House unless or until the situation is corrected. What’s good for our military MUST also be good for our ‘leaders.’

      • JIM

        HAHA good luck with that one

      • DaveH

        SC,
        I’m ashamed of you. Freedom is about people making their own choices. Let’s not get government involved in our diets please.

        • s c

          DaveH, the day I state or imply that government needs to do everything for us is the day you have a right to be ashamed of me. Point out my error(s). Where did I say or imply such a thing?
          I’m sorely tempted to say you’re acting like Eyes or Abnormal.

          • DaveH

            Hardly SC. I’m just trying to keep you on the staight and narrow.
            Here it is:
            “TeresaE, I’m hoping that the few honorable lawyers we have left in America will do to fast-food and processed food producers what was done to the tobacco industry.”
            The court system is part of our problems.

          • DaveH

            The fast food and processed food industries are not forcing anybody to partake of their poison.
            But, if the Food Inc Movie is correct, they are engaged in anti-competitive activities with the Government acting as their enablers. However, I would take that movie with a grain of salt, as it was full of Liberal propaganda. For instance, they spent a fair amount of time railing about the underpaid hired help as if somebody had put a gun to their heads and forced them to apply for the positions.

  • Masinn

    What about us , old people ? I’m 80 , of normal weight fair health , and all this food does not affect me in any way . Does this mean that my life will be shorten by eating this kind of food ? .I was raised on rice & beans . I think if you have some of this food now , once in a while it wont ” hurt us , what’s the word eto , atogenerians ? much ” .

  • Ronisue Smith

    I think it just takes a little forethought. When my children were little,one trip to a fast-food joint was limited to once in a two week period. As they got older it was once every three weeks. My daughter was a diabetic, but it didn’t show up until she was 19 years old. Required having to really come down on her for enjoying sweets.She used to overshoot her insulin and then grab a handful of gummy bears to offset it. She finally learned that she couldn’t fool her body. I am a type two diabetic. If I plan well I can very occasionally cheat at one meal, but once you give in, the craving for sugar comes back and makes things rough. I’ve had this form of diabetes for 35 years. I’m 64, and still have everything intact, which does indicate that I do eat well. I gave up on diet foods, because if it’s sugar free, it’s high in fats to satisfy taste, and the reverse if it’s low fat it contains extra sugar to make it palatable. I eat regular foods, but very small portions, and eat it slowly, chewing every bite. It works for me. After eating small portions for awhile the stomach does shrink, and less food is necessary to satisfy you. I started by putting regular sized portions on my plate, and then stopping at the garbage can to offload half of each portion. I hated doing it, but knew if I just saved it to a clean plate, it would tempt me to go back and eat the rest, so as not to waste food. That’s what got me fat in the first place. (a warning to all young mothers). I have come down from 206 to 162 in a three year period, Losing just a few lbs every month, but by losing slowly, I don’t regain it. Also, every morning I weigh in on a good scale, just before doing my blood sugar test.Then I plot both on my chart. Fast food is only once in a while. Good luck. Now I am working on walking for exercise.

  • DrKete

    All this worry about fast food! Yes, it is better to eat simply most of the time, but this poisonous attitude is just as bad. Guess what? Everyone dies! Since we have slowed deaths from accidents and infectious illness, thanks to technology and better hygiene, the percentage of deaths due to things like heart problems,and other systemic illness will rise- you will die of something. Let’s invest our ingenuity in better ways to eat that taste good without going off the nanny deep end, okay? Constant harping on the ‘evils’ of fast food won’t work. The fast food restaurants have responded by providing some simpler items on their menus, but they know what people want to eat. 100 years ago people had to worry about getting enough calories just to stay alive- we have to catch up to the change in situation, but painting food as ‘evil’ is not the way to do it.

  • E WEIR

    IF YOU EAT—-YOU DIE.

    • TIME

      E WIER,
      Thats kind of a bleak out look don’t you think?
      Kind of like if you breath you die. LOL.

  • Mark

    Well don’t that tell a tale. Fortunately my wife and I never go to any of these places, or any comparable places for that matter. We are both exceptional cooks and we cook fresh, not box. Box ain’t cookin’. We grow a garden and instead of giving it away we sea salt it and put it in the freezer. It is a shame that this country has become so obcessed with making the dollar that they treat themselves and their kids to this garbage fast food stuff. Any fool that tries to rationalize away the seriousness of this fast food stuff is definitely the fool.

  • Phil

    You Know, it is high time that people stopped living to eat and started eating to live. A friend of mine once refered to just about all of the foods mentioned in the article “Little Round Circles of Death”–how true he was. My wife had a heart attack just over two years ago and we had a “lifestyle” change in the way we eat and exercise. You know after six months of eating and cooking healthy foods, fast food tastes like cardboard crap.

  • Warrior

    You people are fat and you must be taxed!

  • Durward

    No two people are alike and no two diets should be either.
    I’m healthy and I rarely eat veggies, I’ve smoked since grade five, I eat bacon and eggs everyday, I smoke pot, I drink occasionally, I don’t drink water or milk, I drink coffee with sugar or Coke cola, I love sauces, meats and pastas and I never gain or lose a pound, I pass my physical with flying colors.
    But I don’t eat fast food.
    The body tells you what it needs, it’s called cravings, you just have to listen to it, Too many eat just to pass the time instead of when they are truly hungry.
    Food should not be a form of entertainment.

    • http://yahoo Nancy

      Cravings are learned and show the foods you were brought up on or taste that you have developed through the years. No health benefits or what your body really needs is expressed through these cravings. My cravings are for black licorice.

  • robert price

    As a 70 year old widower with high BP, it is really difficult to find store bought products that are low in salt. It is also difficult to cook for one person, because the products sold are usually for two or more, and even family size. As they reduce fat and sugar in products and boast “Low Fat” or “No Sugar” etc, they increase the salt! Almost anything that comes in a can has high salt/sodium. It often seems like the deck is stacked against anyone trying to eat healthy. You really have to work at it.

  • Ometeo Anahuac

    It is interesting to me how society in general has been brainwashed by continous multi million dollar advertisments, specially our kids who almost automatically opt for Mc Donals rather than the healthier food choices what ever they may be. Some people say healthy food is boring and plain, they even might say they would rather eat this unatural, genetically modified foods rather than have the government dictate what you eat, but it is not the government it is the corporations that dictate what you eat, it is not the government spending millions of dollars in this brainwashing campaign it is the food industry. Obviously I don’t like people telling me what to eat and what not to eat, but I believe one of the most important government roles is to protect us -the citizens- that’s why Homeland Security was alegedly created for? And when it comes to food security the government is failing miserably mainly because this multi national food corporations are in bed with the corrupt politicians at both ends of the political spectrum, sort of how the terrorist organizations are in bed with intelligence agencies. Alex is right some people are willing to trade the bill of rights for a double double animal style with pickles and onions all while claiming they are against big government. If the goverments interest realy was to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic all fast food would be outlawed, genetically modified crops would not excist, and school lunches would be completly different.
    But because both democrats and republicans are for sale to the highest bidder and people are so scared of regulation in the right places, sadly food security won’t be achived anytime soon. And people won’t be given the facts in a mainstream meaningful way in order to make intelligent choices about what they are putting in their bodies, remember it is what you eat that your blood is being made from, do you want your blood to be made from junk?
    “Let your medicine be your food and your food be your medicine”

  • Another Pete

    I try to eat the right foods most of the time, but, I like pizzas and burgers, so, I do those sometimes. I will be 76 on Feb. 25th. I also play BASEBALL twice a week, and can still play a good game. Just naturally lucky, I guess.

  • bbstacker

    None of the foods listed contain the amount of fiber, and that is critical to the equation. Not that pointing out the worst of the fatty foods, but fat is a complex sugar and contains a huge amount of energy. If you burn it, it’s what you can intake and consume. The right amount of fats are necessary to a healthy diet. I have replaced butter in oatmeal and banana bread with olive oil, but it’s still a fat, just better. The veggie Subway is virtually nothing but bread and vegetables with whatever dressing/mayo you choose. There is a considerable amount of fiber in that, and everything in moderation is the spice of life. I DO NOT need the feral gov’t telling me what I can eat, when I can eat it, or how much I can have. Common Sense is a key ingredient, yet in short supply–find a way to get that into the hearts and minds of Americans and we’d have a pretty good life.

    • http://yahoo Nancy

      You can find the amount of fiber in packaged goods under Carboydrates in the “Nutrition Facts” label. It is interesting that most breads are only 1g or 2g. I always buy 6g which is labeled “double fiber”. You can get cereals with 13g but most are about 2-3g. We ideally should have 35g of fiber a day. Obviously a low percentage of Americans receive that much. It helps your whole body work better.

  • bbstacker

    Just to clarify, the “fast food” route is not a way to a normally healthy lifestyle, but the occasional drive through is not going to kill you in one meal. Nonetheless, if you think that the feral gov’t is going to tell you something that is necessarily to your benefit, then you are sadly mistaken–where is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to choose? Your diet security is your responsibility, and those who will trade their personal liberty for the security of the government mandated diet will end up with neither of the two. Just how big of a nanny-state are you willing to accept before you realize you’ve lost your freedom? If you know the food is bad for you, do you still patronize those businesses? Somebody is keeping the revenue stream alive and well.

  • DaveH

    I thought the people on this board advocated Freedom? Too many of you think the Government should be involved in our dietary choices. That is not Freedom. We got to where we are now because so many people think the Government should be our Nanny. Let’s not enable them to continue that growth into yet another category of our lives.

  • Atickey

    It is all the habit of munching and culture of greedy that created ravenous society. The only benefit fatties if they bury the corpus without coffin it can be natural fertilizer.

  • Arie Moyal

    I may be repeating what others have said but consider it support for that viewpoint

    First things first blaming lack of time for eating fast food is a) irresponsible and b) inaccurate

    People can make the time if they want to.

    Secondly, as has been expressed here, this fallacy of freedom and the “no one is going to tell me what to do” attitude is what is leading people to justify eating fast food and doing other things that are bad for them and for others. More so things that they can’t see direct effects from right away.

    Personally I think to much freedom is a bad thing. Look at what it’s done to us. No one is exercising their freedom of choice and choosing to do better. More often than not they choose to do worse because they’re entitled to it. And lots of it apparently.

    Whatever happened to quality over quantity? Less is more?

    It’s cheaper to eat healthier, especially if you buy from farmer’s markets. This is also good for the farmers and the environment.

    The government does’t care about you and neither do corporations. It’s up to YOU to make the choices that are better for you instead of blaming external factors like time.

    And keep in mind that some of those salads have high fat and carb contents. so salads aren’t always right either.

    • http://yahoo Nancy

      I don’t blame the majority who choose unhealthy food choices. I am glad they have the freedom of choice. I do blame the lack of education. We have not learned to be smart in our food choices and the reasons for it. Education is the key to good choices!

  • Save America Susie

    The Truth is always in the middle between two extremes. People need to enjoy their food as well as be healthy. But living on a strict starvation diet doesn’t do that. Periodic celebration is good for your soul & health as well. Balance is the answer.

  • DaveH

    Here’s an example of where we’re headed in this Nanny State:
    http://www.examiner.com/x-10438-Human-Rights-Examiner~y2010m2d9-NY-State

    I understand that the Bill was withdrawn due to heavy protest, but the evidence is there. These Liberals have no qualms about taking over our life choices.

  • DaveH

    And here’s another attempt by the RINO John McCain to mess with our supplement choices:
    http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/568/t/1128/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=26714

  • http://members.cox.net/agingless4u Suma G Nathan

    Ihope everyone has gone up to The Health Freedom Site to sign up for the reversing the Bill that John McCain wants to disort our right to choose Holistic Health Supplements a part of our rights to choose, anything!

  • Daryl Cliff

    Last time I ordered stuffed crust pizza it was only available in large. Twice in there he has figures for medium stuffed crust pizza.

  • pappy

    Great responces ,all you need to do is get sick like diabetes and you will be forced to eat healthy don;t wait
    eat colorful veggies.
    Unfortunatly it is becoming increasingly more difficult to do so because of corporate food giants such as Monsanto feeding us chemical ridden food, even so called veggies.BUY from local farmers,buy organic,stay away from corporate poison food.These creeps are running good hard workin farmers out of business.
    It’s time to sudsidize organic farmers

  • Steve

    That’s why I am growing my own garden and canning my veggies.

  • Madeleine

    Most people know that fast food is not the best thing to eat, but this article means nothing without mentioning the franckenstien food of Monsanto and the like. Any genetically engineered food is bad for you, period. It is not easy to get organic food for everyone but if you can then do it. Kids are particularly hard hit by things like aspertame, which is in every pack of gum a kid eats, that is not good for kids, artificil sweetner is not good for anyone but especailly bad for childen. High Fructose corn syrup is more fattening than sugar yet it’s in everything, there have been arguments against that but its all lies, it certainly is not good for you and it certianly is more fattening, eating one table spoon of this stuff is equivilent to eating 3 tablespoons of sugar. Its in everything, why? I’ve seen soda with aspertame and high fructose corn syrup and sugar all in the same product. There is very little vitamin value in the screwed up food, you have to eat two and three times as much to get the same vitamins that you would get from normal portions of regular organic food. The Hormones in todays food and milk is enormous, little girls are going through changes in their little bodies that shouldn’t be happening for a few years down the road due to all the Hormones in their food, fast food is also not organic so you have a double whammy there. If you can do it, grow your own, if you don’t have muich room get an earth box, they are not too expensive and you can grow 50 lbs of tomtoes in one box. Write your congressman and senator and tell him you want better food regulations, and no gen food. When was the last time you saw a strawberry that wasn’t white on the inside they aren’t even sweet, kids today do not know what real food is, thats a shame.

  • Sally T

    If everyone tried to exercise daily, or at least 5-6 days @ wk., and choose wisely when eating out–not FAST FOOD but at resturants, drink water instead of anything sweet or alcoholic and keeping an attitude of “everything in moderation” there wouldn’t be obesity and health-issues as much. I am 62 years old and walk 6 days@ wk. year-round and have had in the past high liver-enzymes due to a fatty-liver and am free of it thru weight-loss and exercise. It’s everybody’s choice—to be healthy or careless. 12 years ago I started my 30 min. 6 days @ wk. program, on my own and if I can do this, anyone can. You just have to make up your mind and do it. There is time for anything else—there IS TIME for taking care of oneself!!! Stop making excuses and DO SOMETHING!!!!

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