22 July 2008

Counting The Calories

New York City recently started enforcing chain restaurants to openly declare the calorie count of their products.

So naturally, I did a calorie search of both McDonald's and Burger King's item offerings.

Taking both restaurant's flagship burgers, it's Big Mac (540 calories) vs Whopper (670 calories). Then again, it must be noted that the Whopper is about 25% bigger than the Big Mac. TehSiSiuDai's favourite Double Cheeseburger weighs in at 440 calories.

A KFC crispy 3-piece meal of a wing, a breast, a drumstick, a side serving of mashed potato, a side serving of cole slaw and a medium Pepsi would set you back by as much as 1300 calories.

Frankly, if you ask me, these calorie number don't mean anything to me except that a young adult's daily intake should be 2500 calories i.e. 2 KFC 3-piece meal per day.

I think what the NYC gahmen is trying to do is to "shame" the restaurants with their products' high numbers but seriously if you ask me, it's not going to work.

First of all, we all know that fast food being what it is, is sure to make you put on the kilos if you consume it too frequently. As with all things good and bad, moderation is key and it is not like we are doing a Spurlock, eating junk food breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The moment, we stepped into the restaurant, we know what we are asking for. So let's cut the crap that you are unaware the frequent eating of fast food will bound to pile up the kilos. Hence I was appalled to hear of the case where two girls tried to sue McDonald's for their obesity.

Secondly, taking in less then the required daily intake of calories doesn't mean you are eating healthily. 2,500 for young adult men and 2,000 for young adult women is what is needed to function normally. Eating less is merely forcing the body to dip into the reserves to top up the shortfall and hence the concept of dieting.
However, food intake is not just about the calories. It is also about the nutrients e.g. vitamins, minerals, fibre etc. So IMHO opinion to maintain or lose weight healthily, the way to do it is not the reduce the calorie intake but to increase the calorie expenditure by exercising more.

p.s. I am sure many have heard the joke where the guy who order the full bucket of fried chicken, asked for Diet Pepsi because he is on diet? Well, actually by switching to diet soda, he did save 180 calories on a medium serving. Yes, it may rather ironic considered how many calories are loaded in that 1 bucket but it still 180 calories saved nevertheless.

- Voxeros

1. msvindicta left...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 1:48 am ::
i totally agree with your standpoint that it is very much a personal choice, to consume fast food with full knowledge that it's unhealthy.
did an article on this before, but it never got published in my feature writing group's magazine cause my tutor thought it was, i quote, "nothing new and something that's been discussed too many times".
exactly because there're so many differing opinions hence the need for discussion.

2. NNPC left...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 7:42 am ::
Just eat it already. In all seriousness, eating fast food everyday is really quite disgusting and unhealthy for me because i can't get full on an upsized macdonalds meal. I usually have to order another dbl cheeseburger with my big mac upsized meal. I think i'm screwed.

3. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 10:43 am :: 
Msvindicta: It's all about moderation. Fast food is something we don't eat everyday anyway. Then again, you think our hawker fare is any better?

NNPC: I don't think you have much to worry about for now since you are still relatively very young i.e. your metabolism rate is still quite high. To me the key to combat a big appetite is to be physically very active.

4. spiller left...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 11:49 am
off-topic a bit: it's not only about the calories bro. it's also how these fast food giants handle their business. have u read "Fast Food Nation"?
awesome read. guarantee you cut down your fast food wan.

5. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 2:08 pm :: 
spiller: Yeah, I have the book. Great read. While I am not as affected as PETA concerns about the inhumane way of farming the animals, I am more concerned about how they manage their workers. It was mentioned that they purposely rostered each worker at some location such that the number of hours chalked up per week falls just short of medical benefits entitlement. That is just wrong.

6. Linny. left...
Tuesday, 22 July 2008 9:23 pm ::
Ahh .. Food & Nutrition. Hurhur .
Albeit saving 180 calories, he prolly stocked himself with a shietload of Aspartame and Acesulfame-K. Whenever people sees these low in fat/calories products, they don't ever think about what goes into the food which makes it exactly (sometimes better) than the food before alteration. Whatever it is, fast food is .. alright, if in moderation that is. Eeyer, cannot imagine the amount of oil. *shudder*
My ENTIRE coursework is about this. Heng ah, it's over! *dance*

7. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 23 July 2008 12:05 pm :: 
Linny: Speaking of sugar substitutes, I am a big user of it. I use Splenda on a daily basis which is dextrose based. Equal would be my second choice (Aspartame) and I would avoid Sweet 'n' Low (saccharin) if I can help it.

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