This archived article was written by: Jaimie Scoville
Okay, everyone knows there is an obesity problem in the United States, but what is obesity? Doctors say that if your body weight is at least 10 percent higher than what is expected for you age and height, then you are obese. The statistics say that between 16 and 33 percent of children and adolescents are obese and that it is the cause of over 300,000 deaths per year.
Several reasons have been stated for this epidemic of sorts, but the reason for our growing country is that less and less people are learning how to cook for themselves and their families.
I worked at Wendy’s five months and Burger King three and a half months. While working in these places, I could not believe how many people came in to order for their families. It’s one thing to go out to eat with your family once a month or less, but when you find yourself eating out once a week or more, you may have a problem.
I wouldn’t see as much of a problem if the fast food places that people went to were more healthy, but they’re not. Let’s start with McDonalds, since it’s the closest fast food restaurant to the college. If you think chicken is healthier than beef burgers, you are sadly mistaken. The “Premium-Grilled Chicken” sandwich has 570 calories as opposed to the 540 calories in a “Big Mac.” The “Premium-Crispy Chicken” sandwich is worse, weighing in at 660 calories.
Salad lovers, pay attention, because chances are that salad isn’t as low calorie as you thought. It’s doesn’t necessarily even have the lowest calories on the menu. The Southwest salad with crispy chicken has 400 calories, which is 20 more calories than that of a medium French fry and only 10 calories lower than a quarter pounder. These calories are not even including salad dressing and not many people eat salad without dressing. If you were to add a packet of ranch dressing to that Southwest salad, it would be adding another 170 calories. That’s 570 calories, which again, is the same as eating a “Premium-Grilled Chicken Club” sandwich and 30 more calories than eating a “Big Mac.”
All the fruit-lovers are yelling at me, saying, there is a fruit and walnut salad and fruit and yogurt parfait! This is where we get into the lower calorie items. The fruit and walnut salad has less calories than most items, weighing in at 210 calories and it’s one of the safest items on the menu, along with the 160 calorie fruit and yogurt parfait. I would suggest going onto all the web sites for the fast food restaurants that you frequent and check the calories before deciding what you want to order. Keep in mind that most people are supposed to take in about 2,000 calories a day, which, if you’re eating fast food, can add up fast.
If you are worried about calories, stay away from the triple-thick shakes. They range from 420 to 1,160 calories in one cup. They are the menu items with the most calories.
Here is a phrase that you need to familiarize yourself with: grocery store. No matter where you live, there is one somewhere near you, so go to it, or buy a few cans of tuna and some chunky soup. They are easy to prepare and have fewer calories than do most items on most fast food menus. Tuna has 60 calories and chunky soup ranges from about 110 calories to 150 calories. Yes, even less than Subway.
The six-inch “Veggie Delight” sub is the only one with fewer than 110 calories and most people get the meat subs and those range from 110 calories to 860 calories and that is not including any kind of dressing.
Double those calories for the 12- inch subs. If you were to add one tablespoon of mayonnaise, you would add another 110 calories to the total calories. The calorie count also leaves out cheese, so if you were to put two slices of American cheese on the six inch, you would add another 40 calories … add 80 calories with four slices for the 12 inch.
Okay, you are thinking, I don’t eat at McDonalds or Subway. Well, we’re moving on to Sonic, since it’s across the street from McDonalds and Subway.
There is nothing at all to eat that has less than 210 calories, even in the kids meals. You are better off sticking to the drinks. The diet sodas are zero calories and the lo-cal diet limeades and cherry limeades range from five calories to 25 calories.
There are days you just don’t want to cook. On those days, eat soup. All you do is put it in a bowl and heat it and it’s only about 120 calories, so eat lots. There is no excuse for anyone to be going out to eat once or twice a week and for sure not every night. This is wrong and it is one of the reasons people are becoming more obese.
If any guys around campus need to learn how to cook, I may be able to help you. Just send a message to my e-mail and I will get back to you with healthier, low-calorie dishes.