Weight Loss
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
FDA Requests Market Withdrawal of Diet Drug Belviq Due to Cancer RiskFor Teens, Weight-Loss Surgery May Not Bring Emotional GainsAHA News: A Sweet Super Bowl Treat That Won't Sack Your HealthWeight-Loss Surgery Brings Surprise Bonus: Breathing EasierAHA News: Processed vs. Ultra-Processed Food, and Why It Matters to Your HealthWhich Obesity Surgery Is Right for You?Could Your Morning Coffee Be a Weight-Loss Tool?What Matters More for Obesity Risk, Genes or Lifestyle?Calories Per Serving or the Whole Package? Many Food Labels Now Tell BothWeight-Loss Surgery Might Also Lower Skin Cancer RiskNew Year's Resolutions Didn't Stick? Try a Monday ResetA Breakfast Fit for Making Your New Year's ResolutionsToast a Healthy New Year With These Holiday Cocktail RecipesBetter Choices for a Fast, Healthy LunchHow You Can Be Overfat Without Being Overweight'Intermittent Fasting' Diet Could Boost Your HealthThe Financial Reward of Slimming DownDelicious Holiday Desserts With Fewer CaloriesAHA News: How to Enjoy the Flavors of the Season Without Derailing HealthWeight-Loss Surgery a Boon for the HeartHealth Tip: Strengthen Self-ControlHealth Tip: Thanksgiving and Your Heart HealthAHA News: Eating Mindfully Through the Holidays – and All YearHealth Tip: Measuring Weight Accurately at HomeMore Americans Trying to Lose Weight, But Few SucceedingThe On-Again, Off-Again Weight-Loss DietWeight-Loss Surgery: Better Health, But No Cost SavingsStaying Slim After Weight-Loss Surgery Could Cut Cancer Risk in HalfHow to Head Off Holiday Weight GainAnother Weight-Loss Surgery Benefit: Lower Breast Cancer RiskWeight-Loss Surgery Protects Heart Patients From Future TroubleWhen You Eat May Matter More Than What You Eat: StudyDeep Sleep May 'Rinse' Day's Toxins From BrainToo Much Salt Might Make You Gain WeightExperts Support Weight-Loss Surgery for Very Obese KidsTry These Homemade Chocolate Treats for HalloweenWhy Maintaining a Healthy Weight Is Important in AdulthoodMoms' Weight-Loss Surgery Tied to Lower Risk of Birth DefectsAre You Eating More Calories Than You Think?You've Lost the Weight -- Now Keep It Off to Keep Diabetes at BayWhy Maintaining Weight Loss Demands More Than WillpowerHow to Rebalance Your Carb IntakeSeasonal Drinks With a Lighter TouchLighten Up Your Favorite Mac 'N' CheeseFoods That Will Make You Feel Full FasterCan You Still Be Healthy If You're Overweight?What's the Right Balance of Fats and Carbs?How Your Genes Affect the Number on Your ScaleSoups Are the New Smoothies5 Ways to Cut the Fat From Your Diet
LinksSelf-Help Groups
Related Topics

Wellness and Personal Development
Men's Health
Women's Health

Fast Food Delivers Even More Calories Than Decades Ago

HealthDay News
by By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter
Updated: Mar 1st 2019

new article illustration

FRIDAY, March 1, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Fast food fans today are ordering off menus that have grown more apt to make them fat.

Portion sizes have risen dramatically over the past three decades at the most popular fast food restaurants in the United States, a new study has found.

As a result, the amount of calories and excess sodium has also increased among fast food offerings, said lead author Megan McCrory, a research associate professor with the Boston University College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

Average portion size nearly quadrupled for fast food entrees, and more than quadrupled for desserts between 1986 and 2016, McCrory and her team discovered.

Calories and sodium content in entrees, sides and desserts also increased significantly.

Desserts packed on an extra 62 calories per decade, while entrees increased by 30 calories per decade, researchers reported.

Meanwhile, sodium increased by about 4.6 percent of recommended daily value for entrees each decade, and 3.9 percent of daily value for sides.

"The portion size increase is largely responsible for the increase in calories and sodium," McCrory said.

Responding to the new study, the National Restaurant Association said it has championed menu labeling "to give customers the information they need to make healthier choices for their families.

"In 2008, we launched the Kids LiveWell program to promote consumption of fruit and vegetables, lean protein, whole grains and low-fat dairy, while limiting unhealthy fats, sugars and sodium," the association said in a statement. "The association continues to educate members about the benefits of offering healthier menu items and participating in portion balance discussions with industry leaders."

But the increases discovered in this research also reflect the "provocative" changes that have occurred in fast food within recent years, said Michelle Milgrim. She's a registered dietitian and manager of employee wellness at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, N.Y., and was not part of the study.

These changes include sandwiches that replace buns with fried chicken breasts, pizza crust filled with cheese, and bacon added to many menu items, Milgrim said.

"We're seeing new items we've never seen before," Milgrim said. "The American public is probably not necessarily picking up on the nuanced increases in portion size year over year, decade over decade, that these new items entail."

Fast food restaurants are more popular than ever, with nearly 2 out of 5 adults eating fast food on any given day, researchers said in background notes.

The average amount of total daily calories represented by fast food has more than doubled, rising from 4 percent of total caloric intake in 1977-1978 to 11 percent in 2007-2010.

For this study, the researchers reviewed menu items offered at 10 popular fast food restaurants in 1986, 1991 and 2016. The restaurants were Arby's, Burger King, Carl's Jr., Dairy Queen, Hardee's, Jack in the Box, KFC, Long John Silver's, McDonald's and Wendy's.

Menus at these restaurants offer more selection than ever. The total number of entrees, desserts and sides increased by 226 percent, or about 23 items per year, researchers found.

But portion sizes also steadily increased over the years, a trend that reflects overall American eating patterns, McCrory said.

"I think we see an increase in portion size pretty much in the entire food supply," McCrory said. "In some ways, the fast food restaurants are probably just keeping up with expectations of the size of the food people expect to be served. The same kind of things are happening in other restaurants that aren't fast food."

Milgrim said she's most concerned with the steady increase in fast food's salt content.

"These foods are just sodium-laden," Milgrim said. "With obesity and hypertension as main causes of mortality among the American public, it's so important for us to consider sodium."

It's not all bad news. Calcium and iron levels also increased in fast food over the years, meaning that folks are getting more of these important nutrients, McCrory said.

But given how calorie-rich fast food is, "there are better places to get calcium and iron," McCrory added.

People who love fast food can take steps to cut back on calories, McCrory said.

They can split their fries or dessert with a friend, or order a single burger instead of a double, for example.

"They can still get the same taste, they would just be getting less calories," McCrory said.

Even better, people can start considering fast food as a treat instead of a regular option.

"I understand fast food is an economical way to get food that tastes good, and you know what you're getting when you go there," McCrory said. "But it might be good to eat fast food less often, make it more of a special occasion instead of something that's done regularly."

The new study was published in the March issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

More information

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has more about healthy eating.




328 W. Claiborne St.
P.O. Box 964
Monroeville,
Alabama 36460
Tel: (251)575-4203
Fax:(251)575-9459


powered by centersite dot net