fast food

Health & Wellness

Teens and Calorie Counting

By Christopher Stewart | June 4, 2013

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burger, fries, calories

Photo: Jeannie

“When calorie information is available at a fast food/chain restaurant, how often does this information help you decide what to order?” 

Ever since the additions of calorie counts have been placed on menus across America in recent years, this question has been lingering over diner’s heads. Recently, studies show that it’s now a question being asked to teens, not adults. Published online from the Journal of Public Health, a new study has reported that out of 721 teens surveyed, 40% of tweens and teens between the ages of 9-18 years old pay attention to calorie counts and calorie information when it is available in fast food or chain restaurants. Read More

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Not So Happy Meal: Fast Food Linked to Depression

By admin | April 9, 2012

Photo: joo0ey

Photo: joo0ey

By: Michael Engle

Have you ever wondered how happy children become when served McDonald’s Happy Meals?  But just how happy can a Happy Meal actually make you? For years, parents and physicians have worried about fast food’s nutritional value (or lack thereof), as well as whether their advertising practices prey upon young children.  Fast food has also been criticized for their food preparation techniques, from using GMO’s to constraining their livestock in tight living quarters.  The most recent attack against fast food companies is of a different ilk.  Tracy Pedersen reports that fast food may be linked to depression.

Scientists from the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University of Granada found that consumers of fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than minimal or non-consumers.  According to the lead author of this study, Dr. Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, Ph.D., the connection is so strong that “the more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression.”  The study also found a similar connection between commercial baked goods, e.g.: donuts, cakes, and croissants, and the likelihood of depression. Read More

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Fusion Futures for Fast-Food Chains

By admin | February 29, 2012

Photo: Min Lee

Photo: Min Lee

By: Michael Engle

Last year, I followed America’s Next Great Restaurant, a now-defunct reality show.  With Iron Chef Bobby Flay and Chipotle Mexican Grill CEO Steve Ells among the judges, ANGR‘s objective was to sift through the show’s competitors and to find a marketable fast-casual restaurant.  Though a soul food restaurant won the show’s grand prize, including the resulting restaurant locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, I was personally impressed by a fast-food Indian concept, which finished as a co-runner-up.  Throughout the judging, a common question was asked of the Indian concept: “Do you serve Indian food, or are you Chipotle?”  Fortunately, these two approaches may no longer be so mutually exclusive.

The New York Times‘ John T. Edge recently profiled a new Denver-based fast food establishment, The Bombay Bowl.  The Bombay Bowl stays true to authentic Indian flavors, but takes drastic liberties with its presentations and combinations.  Adhering to a Chipotle tradition, this new Indian fast-food restaurant can take any protein, and place it in a bowl, on a plate, or in the middle of a roti wrap.  Read More

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FDA’s Food-Labeling Measures Help Reduce Trans-Fat Blood Levels

By Jeannette | February 22, 2012

Photo: Keith McDuffee

Photo: Keith McDuffee

By: Justin Chan

Trans-fat food is known for being notoriously unhealthy, but a recent study reveals that the amount of trans fat found in the American blood level has significantly decreased. According to The Washington Post, trans-fat blood levels have dropped since the Food and Drug Administration mandated food labels to detail the amount of trans fat contained in food products.

Between 2000 and 2008, blood levels of trans fat dropped 58 percent, which suggests that there is now a lower risk for heart disease among Americans. Read More

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Amid Criticisms of Fast Food, Chipotle’s Success is a Sign of Optimism

By Jeannette | February 21, 2012

Photo: Katy Warner

Photo: Katy Warner

By: Justin Chan

Fast food chains have taken the brunt of the blame for health problems related to obesity and unhealthy eating. Chipotle Mexican Grill, however, is probably one of the exceptions that has earned more praise than criticism. In fact, some have debated whether it should be considered a fast food chain, given its approach to preparing its products. Others have even gone so far as to compare the burrito chain’s product to an iPhone.

Consider Matthew Yglesias’ piece in Slate. Yglesias argues that Chipotle’s success is a product of its revolutionary methods. In the fourth quarter of 2011, Chipotle reportedly opened 67 new stores, increasing its total number of chains worldwide to 1,230. The company’s stock has also grown close to 500% in the past five years, and revenues grew 23.7 percent in 2011. Much of that substantial growth, Yglesias suggests, is due to the innovative minds behind Chipotle. Read More

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Can A Ban on Junk Food Ads Reduce Its Consumption?

By admin | January 23, 2012

Photo: sean dreilinger

Photo: sean dreilinger

Studies based on an experiment in Canada, show that a ban on ads that promote junk food among children is likely to cut down their consumption. The experiment took place in Quebec province where the government banned fast food ads between 1984 and 1992, resulting in the consumption of about 11-22 million fewer fast-food meals per year. This translated to 2.2-4.4 billion fewer calories consumed by children and a reduction by 13% of fast-food expenditures per week in each household, according to Kathy Baylis, an economist from the University of Illinois.

This raises certainty to the question of effectiveness of junk food and fast food ads targeted at children. Read More

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Can Eating Fast Food Cause Brain Damage?

By admin | January 13, 2012

Photo: Jaryl Cabuco

Photo: Jaryl Cabuco

By: Saira Malhotra

Just the shear visual of a nice juicy burger with a soft bun, condiments and a side of crispy and salty fries will make anyone cave in. However, being the poster children of junk food, we are aware that surrendering to the craving comes with a price tag. We eat it (and some more frequently than others) and know that it will show up on our waistline, in our arteries, in our alertness. However, recent studies now indicate that it impacts our brain too.

This week, published in theweek.com, is an article based on a recent study by The Journal of Clinical Investigation regarding the correlation between junk food and the brain. Read More

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The Fast Food Future of Food Stamps

By admin | October 5, 2011

Photo: Scott Drzyzga

Photo: Scott Drzyzga

By: Dylan Rodgers

We have now reached a new national record:  over 45 million people depend on SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (i.e. food stamps), an incredible figure considering that it stands for roughly 15 percent of the US population.  SNAP not only helps struggling citizens eat, it also has taken on the task of providing at least some nutritional education and guidance.

Since the beginning, food stamps have a regulated purchasing power only of unprepared foods (groceries to be exact).  This may all change soon because Yum! Brands-owner of Taco Bell, KFC, Long John Silver’s and Pizza Hut-is putting pressure on Congress to allow fast food restaurants to make transactions using food stamps.  Read More

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An Economic Diet: Government Food Subsidies Remove Choice from Consumers

By admin | August 16, 2011

Photo: lokate 366

Photo: lokate 366

By: Dylan Rodgers

Until recently all the responsibility for living an unhealthy life, in terms of diet at least, has fallen on the individual; in families it falls on the parents.  America continues to be one of the unhealthiest countries in the world with our love for fast foods, deep fried everything (even whole sticks of butter), and addiction to sugar.  The approach to combat this trek towards obesity has always been to educate people about nutrition, but like always, this problem is multifaceted.  The documentary Food Inc. along with a recent study published in the journal Health Affairs points to another important aspect of unhealthy living:  the economics. Read More

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Top 10 Fast Food Cities

By admin | July 26, 2011

Photo: Mr. T in DC

Photo: Mr. T in DC

Even when so many people are trying to eat healthy, fast food is still a very popular choice around the country with Americans spending more than $110 billion a year at fast food restaurants. Read More

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