Fast Food Just Gets Worse

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 


On any given day, 36.6 percent of American adults eat fast food, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fast-food restaurants would like you to think their meals are getting healthier. In fact, over the past 30 years, portion sizes have grown, as have calories, and the food has become less healthy, according to a new study of 10 of the most popular U.S. fast-food joints, including several in the North Valley.

Researchers examined menu offerings in 1986, 1991 and 2016, at 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. Here’s the change they found across three decades:

Calories in all three categories—entrees, sides & desserts—increased significantly, with the largest increases in desserts (62 calories per decade), followed by entrees (30 calories per decade). The change was due mostly to larger portions. Sodium also increased significantly in all three categories.

“Despite the vast number of choices offered at fast-food restaurants, some of which are healthier than others, the calories, portion sizes, and sodium content overall have worsened (increased) over time and remain high,” said lead researcher Megan McCrory, of Boston University.

It seems almost overkill to rehash the badness of fast food, but here goes:

  • Those who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression, than those who eat little or none of it, one study indicated.
  • Another study found women who eat fast food four or more times a week took nearly a month longer to become pregnant than those who rarely or never did.
  • The excess sodium in fast food raises the risk of high blood pressure.
  • And, of course, when fast food consistently takes the place of fruits, vegetables and other healthy food, the risk of heart disease and stroke goes up.
  • And yes, lots of burgers & fries will help you pack on pounds.

The study, announced today, is detailed in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Data for 1986 and 1991 was gleaned from the Fast Food Guide, and 2016 data came from online sources, the researchers said.

A typical entree plus side dish at one of these restaurants averages 767 calories, or about 40 percent of the 2,000 calories a day recommended for a moderately active average woman (it’s roughly 2,500 for men).

“Given the popularity of fast food, our study highlights one of the changes in our food environment that is likely part of the reason for the increase in obesity and related chronic conditions over the past several decades, which are now among the main causes of death in the US,” McCrory said in a statement.


This article first appeared in LUMINATE, an In&Out Publications exploration of the human condition and ways to improve it.


Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
 
Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

npneditor has 531 posts and counting.See all posts by npneditor