Fast Food by Patti Helsten Petrella
I am not a fan of most fast food. In fact I think it is responsible for much of the obesity in
Consider the following facts:
• The United States has the highest obesity rate of any industrialized nation. More than
half the adults and one quarter of the children are obese.
• The rate of obesity among adults and children is twice as high as it was in the 1970s.
These proportions have soared.
red, as fast food companies have increased. No other nation has gotten fat so fast.
• The growth of fast food has made high fat, inexpensive meals widely available.
• Commodity prices have fallen so low that fast food has greatly increased its portion
sizes in order to attract consumers.
• Fast food has more calories, more fat and less fiber than meals generally made at
• Taste for fat is developed at a young age and is difficult to lose as an adult.
• Obesity is now second only to smoking as a cause of mortality in the United States.
• Countries with less fast food have less obesity proportionately. Wherever fast food
chains go, obesity increases dramatically.
• Every month more than 90 percent of children in the U.S. eat at McDonalds. A “Happy
Meal” is loaded with fat!
(These facts were taken from Fast Food Nation, a very informative book that shows the
darker side of the fast food industry.)
You are being inundated with advertising day and night for unhealthy foods of all kinds. This
advertising works on your subconscious and emotions. You have been besieged by a multi-
billion dollar industry to make you want their products. You must learn to, mentally, block this
advertising out and be wise enough to see through the ads and hype.
McDonalds spent two billion dollars on advertising in 2000. Vegetables spent nothing. The
best thing that you can do is take your lunch and snacks to work with you, so you won’t be
tempted by high fat, low fiber, low nutritional fare.
You are practicing self-sabotage when you take the easy way, and opt for the fast foods; the
processed “grab and go” fare. It all comes back to being prepared. Eating mindlessly,
without planning, only promotes mechanical unhealthful eating.
What will you eat if you occasionally get stuck in a fast food situation? I know that sometimes
it is just not possible to always be prepared, so if you find yourself in a fast food place, here
are some tips to help you order a healthier lunch. Just don’t make a habit of it, if you want to
Fast Food Tips:
• Choose plain burger or grilled chicken; leave off mayonnaise, cheese, and bacon.
• Try a baked potato and a salad with low-fat dressing.
• Avoid any fried foods--fish, french fries, onion rings, etc.
• Select broiled or poached instead of fried.
• Drink water, regular or diet pop, tea, coffee or low-fat or fat-free milk
• Order your tacos/ taco salads on a plain (soft) tortilla without cheese or sour cream.
• Skip white bread, croissants and biscuits.
• Eat raw veggies and green salads with low-fat dressing.
• Choose the smallest portions available.
• Skip dessert altogether.
• Choose fresh vegetables and fruits at the salad bar.
• Select sandwiches with tomatoes and lettuce and skip bread if it is white.
• Go to Subway. They have pretty good low-fat sandwiches on whole wheat bread.
• Choose whole grain or multi-grain buns.
• Eat baked potatoes and the skins – skip the toppings.
• Include beans – burritos, chili, and salad bar toppings without the cheese or sour
This is a sample of what your food for the day might look like. (Changes daily)
Vegetarians will substitute beans, soy products, tofu, tempeh, seitan, or other vegetable
proteins for any meat used in the sample diet.
Breakfast: bran cereal, with fruit and milk, coffee with fat-free creamer, = 1 carb, 1 dairy, 1
Snack: apple with fat-free cheese dip = 1 fruit, 1 dairy
Lunch: tomato soup, salad, and grilled cheese on whole-wheat bread with low-fat cheese
= 2 veg., 2 carb
Snack: chicken breast and grapes = 1 protein, 1 fruit
Dinner: grilled salmon, salad, small, potato, and black-eyed peas =1 protein, 2 veg,,1 carb
Total = 2 proteins, 4 carbs (starchy), 4 veg., 3 fruits, 2 dairy
This is meant as a sample. We will change this daily.
For the Spirit:
Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when
they gave up.
~Thomas A. Edison