No wonder we have an obesity epidemic. Are fast food restaurants partially to blame?

In a recent study, researchers reported on the changes in fast-food menu offerings over 30 years—including food variety (number of items as a proxy), portion size, energy, energy density, and selected micronutrients (sodium, calcium, and iron as percent daily value)— and compared changes over time across menu categories (ie, entrées, sides, and desserts).

Data regarding the number of fast-food entrées, sides, and dessert menu item for 1986, 1991, and 2016 for 10 popular fast-food restaurants displayed a combined increase by 226%.

They noted a significant increase in the portion sizes of entrées (13 g/decade) and desserts (24 g/decade)—but not of sides—with a significant increase in the energy (kilocalories) and sodium of items in all three menu categories. These findings suggested broadly detrimental changes in fast-food restaurant offerings over a 30-year span.

We need to find effective strategies to help people reduce energy (calorie) consumption from fast food establishments. The food products are getting larger with a greater selection, increased salt, and more calories. Can anyone other than me remember the 6 ounce coke in a bottle?

Look how much sugar is in these drinks below and how the sizes have grown!

The chart below shows the sizes of fast food soda portions at top fast-food chains.

McDonald’s
Kids 12 oz.
Small 16 oz.
Med 21 oz.
Large 32 oz.
Burger King
Value 16 oz.
Small 20 oz.
Medium 30 oz.
Large 40 oz.

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