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Fast Food a Fatty Health Risk
By Nick C., Parafield High, Adelaide, Australia

Health experts have implied that fast food is part of the problem of increasingly fat Australians, and that sitting in front of a television or on a computer is not a big part of the problem but fast food is.

Fast food is a health risk because they have too much fat in their burgers and fires. Fast food restaurants need to come up with healthier food or reduce the amount of fat they have in their burgers and fries. Even though fast food has fruit and vegetables, it doesn't mean that the burger is actually healthy. In a Choice magazine article (April 2003) they point out that a double beef and cheese whopper at Hungry Jacks has 4200kj (1000 calories) and 67 grams of fat. That's three and a half tablespoons, and still this burger has fruit and vegetables and look at the amount of fat it still has. This is because they microwave their meat and deep-fry their chips/fries.

There has been one fast food restaurant that has proven and beaten them all. This is Subway. Subway has all the fruit and vegetables you can pick from, and it still tastes great. The biggest advertisement to show that Subway's food is healthy is Jared. We've seen what Jared use to look like before he ate Subway on a regular basis, but after his special diet eating Subway he has helped Subway promote their food with his real life story.

From the article from Choice magazine about Subway, they said that even some options on the regular Subway menu get close to 200kj and over a tablespoon of fat in a 15 centimetre Sub.

McDonalds, even the smallest burger on McDonald's menu has over 1000kj. The fish and chicken burgers on the menu are just as bad. Fillet-o-fish has three teaspoons of fat despite its tiny size. McChicken only has a teaspoon less then the Big Mac. Plus there's not much to order with your burger mainly only chips, and for vegetarians there's nothing on the menu for them, it's vegetables with meat.

KFC, the Colonel's secret herbs and spices famous coating soaks up the fat surely. The Original Fillet Burger is the best to buy on the menu. It only has 18 grams (three teaspoons) of fat. The Twister which is healthy with it's chicken and salads has nearly two tablespoons of fat and over 2500kj. KFC's side dishes like potato and gravy or corn are just as bad with fat. And like McDonalds, they're no option for vegetarians.

Fast food restaurants aren't that good in value for money. To buy a Subway roll, a Big Mac meal from McDonalds, a Whopper meal from Hungry Jacks, or even a meal from KFC, will approximately cost around six dollars, and this is only a meal for one person. So if you were to buy a meal at these fast food restaurants the cost would approximately range between 25 to 30 dollars. With that amount you spend for just one meal, that is bad for you. You may as well just go to the supermarket and buy four meals that are healthy for you, than buying one meal at a fast food restaurant.

So we'd all probably be lying if we said that fast food doesn't taste good and that we don't eat it on a regular basis, but we need to realise the amount of fat and how non-healthy our fast food industry is.

source: Choice magazine, April 2003, page 8 - 11

Originally published in Parafield Student Magazine http://www.pghs.sa.edu.au/svy.htm


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