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“Fast Food is Good for Your Waistline” — Really?

Mike Barrett
Oct 31, 2012

Could fast food actually be good for your waistline? According to a writer from U.S. News Health [1], fast food may be the right choice if you’re looking to slim down and cut calories. The article, titled “Why Fast Food Could Be Good for Your Waistline”, describes a made-up scenario where a woman named Sharon made the wrong decision by avoiding McDonald’s in an attempt to be healthy. What the author seems to not realize, however, is that fast food is loaded with destructive chemicals and ingredients, and is feeding the continuously increasing rates of various health conditions. So, what could possibly make fast food good weight loss aid?

The author shares the same belief as many others: that a calorie is a calories, and the source or quality is of little importance. He explains that if the phony character chose McDonald’s instead of Chili’s, she would have consumed less calories, paving way for a slimmer waist.

Had she gone to McDonald’s, her usual would have set her back 580 calories. Yet her “smarter” Chili’s order quickly added up. Sharon’s salad alone contained 690 calories; her ¼ portion of dip and chips contained another 320; and her few small bites of brownie packed a final 137, giving her a Chili’s grand total of 1,147 calories—basically double her McDonald’s fare.

Like Sharon, many people often assume that somehow fast food is worse for weight than what you might order in a sit-down restaurant. While eating fast food on a regular basis is assuredly not a nutritionally sound plan, there are a few reasons why it may well be a weight-friendlier choice than sit-down dining.

The author isn’t wrong in suggesting that fast food is not so much better than restaurant food. And while the amount of calories do matter in terms of weight gain and weight loss, to dismiss the quality calories completely is to welcome a plethora of health complications. The author misses this tremendously important point when comparing the two evils – a point that each and every reader should know about in order to maintain their health.

The Dangers of Fast Food

Fast food isn’t bad for you because it’s inexpensive; fast food is not healthful due to almost always containing numerous health-hazardous ingredients.

McDonald’s McNuggets contain 7 different ingredients [2] making up the ‘meat’, many of which contain sub-ingredients. Instead of using real meat, the ingredient list utilizes sodium phosphate, safflower oil, wheat starch, dextrose, and autolyzed yeast extract – a particularly dangerous substance very similar to the toxic MSG [3]. Along side with these ingredients comes the use of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicon substance used as an anti-foaming agent and often found in breast implants and silly putty.

But of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg. To make matters worse (and this applies to most fast food restaurants and sit down restaurants), these food-serving facilities promote non-caring corporate food manufacturers and suppliers, the widespread use of factory farms, and genetically modified organisms. Of course none of these things are positive or supportive of a healthy environment and world.

In a nut shell, a typical fast food restaurant:

So is it really smart to choose fast food in high hopes of moving down a pant size? Not only is the idea of eating fast food for a smaller waist bizarre, but by choosing fast food you are also supporting everything that goes against a healthy you and a healthy planet.

This post originally appeared at Natural Society [10]