The recently proposed bill in PG County is stating that it will limit the number of fast food restaurants and make a push from McDonald's to chains like Panera Bread of Chipotle. Senator Harrington is using method of limitation over information in which he is deciding to limit the availability of fast food for consumers instead of making efforts to inform consumers of nutritional risks. This is just another case of the blame game, in which Harrington himself has said he has struggled with his weight due to the deep fryers of fast food restaurants.
Yes, fast food restaurants catch a bad rap however, they are not the one's putting the food in your hand. The decision always lies with the consumer as to what they purchase. People do their research when it comes to a car and buy what is best for them, so why not do the same with food. Given what is offered at fast food restaurants it is easy to make meals 1,000, 2,000, or even 3,000 calories without even realizing it. The Hardee's double bacon cheese thickburger, will cost you a whopping 1,300 calories, over half of which are from fat as well as 2,200mg of sodium, among other astounding nutritional facts.
Fresh does not always mean better. The push for Chipotle is not necessarily a better move, as any informed consumer would know. Even the most basic burrito rings up at 700 calories with at or close to 50% of your daily needs of sodium and cholesterol (based off of a 2000 calorie diet. Even Panera Bread has simple sandwiches that can tax your body over 500 calories. This is all before adding any sides or drinks.
If you find yourself in a fast food restaurant keep it simple. Avoid the "double" and "triple" and now even "quad" burgers. Keep the burger cheese and bacon free and load it up with whatever vegetables they may offer (tomatoes, onions, lettuce). Steer clear of extra condiments and remember special sauce means extra calories. Crispy and spicy means deep fried, translating to more fat and sodium. Opt for healthier sides such as fruit cups or yogurts where available. Take advantage of all the opportunites you can such as the McDonalds cobb salad but be careful when choosing a dressing. And when it comes to a drink, if you cannot go with water choose the diet drinks which can save you numerous empty calories. For your next stop at McDonalds try the Southwest salad with grilled chicken (320 calories), apple dippers (35 calories), and water, orange juice, milk, or diet soda (if you must).