Burger King is targeting health-conscious consumers by launching "Satisfries," a reduced-calorie, lower-fat version of regular french fries, which the fast-food giant claims has 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than McDonald's fries.
“When it comes to what we eat, we know that small changes can have a big impact," Alex Macedo, Burger King's North American president, said in a press release Sept. 24.
"We see Satisfries as one of the biggest fast-food launches and are excited to bring this great-tasting french fry to our guests.”
While Burger King isn't positioning the lower-calorie french fries as health food, it explained that Satisfries are healthier because of a top-secret new batter that blocks oil absorption. A small order of Satisfries has 270 calories, versus 340 calories for regular fries.
But customers who want the lower-calorie fries will have to pay 19 percent extra: A small order of Satisfries is $1.89, compared to $1.59 for regular fries.
Meanwhile, many consumers may not be aware that low-calorie or not, fried foods (along with grilled foods) are known to cause cancer, and that consumption of too many simple carbs contributes to dementia and ADHD.
Burger King's foray into healthier foods comes amid alarming news reports of the skyrocketing rates of obesity (particularly, childhood obesity), diabetes and heart disease in the United States.
During the past few years, fast-food behemoth McDonald's has added several healthier-food options to its menu. Similarly, soda giant Coca-Cola has also rolled out lower-calorie, reduced-sugar soft drinks amid public outcry.
While fast-food restaurants are often blamed for the staggering spikes in obesity patterns, their executives say controlling one's weight is a personal — not a corporate — responsibility. McDonald's CEO, Don Thompson, recently revealed that he managed to lose 20 pounds last year while eating at McDonald's "every single day."
Thompson echoed comments made by McDonald's executive chef, Daniel Coudreaut, who said McDonald's food is not unhealthy and shouldn't be blamed for the obesity epidemic.
"I don't see anything on the menu that's unhealthy," said Coudreaut. "If we were to close our doors of all of the McDonald's tomorrow, the obesity problem would not go away."