by Kats T '13

Only Hummers Use More Oil Than Our Fries

McDonald’s is highly nutritional. That is, compared to other popular fast food restaurants, such as Subway, Burger King, KFC, and Domino’s. These restaurants are the new McDonald’s. Everyone thinks the Golden Arches are really just fried fat, and they are, but so are these other silent culprits. All five of the restaurants listed above are big favorites of high school students. In fact, there is a Subway, Domino’s, and McDonald’s within ten blocks of the school.  That’s easy access to fatty foods for hungry teens.
By the way… fat is bad for you. Teenage girls are only supposed to have 73 grams a day, and boys can have 93. That’s the same as a large popcorn at the movies. Fat is a nutrient your body stores to build tissue, hormones, and energy. Too much fat, though, will make you fat. Calories come from fat. They are essentially needed to fuel your body, but too many calories will cause you to gain weight. Girls can consume 2,200 calories per day, and boys 2,800. See a pattern? Salt is next. Salt, a.k.a. sodium, is pretty much just bad for you. It’s fine in moderation, but too much salt makes it harder for your heart to pump- which is not good. Most teens are generally supposed to have less than 140 milligrams of salt per day.
Let’s start with the classic; McDonald’s. McDonald’s is basically the poster child for fast food, and the main reason everyone associates America with obesity. McDonald’s foods have an average of 400 calories, an average fat content of 25 grams, and an average sodium (salt) amount of 1500 milligrams. In case you don’t know, that’s a LOT. Maybe there’s a reason McDonald’s is the focus of so many anti-obesity ads.
A popular pizza chain is Domino’s. Domino’s is widely-known, and a favorite among teens. Well, just knock that idea right out of your head. Domino’s scored an average total calories of 400, total fat of 300 grams, and a total salt of 350 milligrams.  If you were too shocked to completely register that line, read it over. It’s true. McDonalds only had 25 grams of fat. Dominos had an average of 300! I’m sticking to McDonald’s.
Burger King is thankfully not as completely mind-blowing. A well-accepted alternative for McDonald’s, Burger King is not picked-on by the media. It actually had an average of about 50 more calories than its rival, scoring at a 450. It had an average fat of 23 grams, and an average salt level of 800 milligrams. That’s a lot of salt! Talk about overworking your heart, jeez.
Another example is KFC, a well-known fried chicken place. It focuses on being cheap and delicious, and you don’t really hear about it in any news stories. It has an average of 175 calories which is pretty good compared to the other fast-food restaurants. It has an average total fat of 15 grams (the best so far), and an average total sodium intake of 800 milligrams. Though there’s a lot of salt, KFC’s calorie and fat intake are pretty decent compared to the rest of the “fatty five”.
“The Subway Guy” Jared’s pants may be too big, but his heart won’t beat for long. Subway, everyone’s favorite “healthy” sandwich joint is our worst offender. You might as well be eating a whole hotdog stand when you take a bite of a Subway sandwich. With an average of 700 calories, this chain tops all. The amount of fat is about the same as the average fat of McDonald’s and Burger King, and more than KFC. But here’s the heart-stopping fact: Subway sandwiches have an average salt intake of 1800             milligrams. That’s almost 300 milligrams more than McDonald’s has.
You may be asking, why is everything so fatty? My theory is that after all the media attention on McDonalds, the other fast food chains might have seen the opportunity to increase the fat and calories (it makes the food taste better) in most of their choices, while labeling the few old choices as the healthy new alternatives. That might be why the totals of fat, calorie, and sodium intake seem to have risen since last time we checked.
This article speaks for itself. There’s no conclusion necessary. Being fat is being fat and unless your life goal is to be a world-champion sumo wrestler, cut down on the fast foods now. As previously discussed, even the “healthy” fast foods can be deadly. So watch out Jared, Ronald, the old guy on the KFC buckets, the King, and the little Domino- we won’t fall for it anymore!


By Mr. Lakhaney

TOK Teacher

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