Super-sizing great for your wallet but not your waist

May 06, 2008

From mega mugs of soda that don't even fit into the average car cup holder to jumbo orders of fries that could feed an elephant, many fast-food restaurants are offering super-sized portions that appear to be easy on the pocketbook.

Although super-sizing your fast-food meal may seem like a real bargain, you may pay for the extra calories later, according to a foods expert in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

"A meal that includes a quarter-pound cheeseburger, a large regular soda and large fries gives you almost your entire daily requirement for calories (1,400) and fat (55 grams)," says Mandel Smith, nutrition educator for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Montgomery County.

"If you super-size this meal by increasing the portion size of the fries and soda, the calories can top 1,540," Smith says. "Super-sizing a fast-food meal may cost less than a dollar more, but you may end up super-sizing your waist by eating lots of fat and calories that your body does not need."

Smith points out that portion sizes, in general, are larger today than in the past. "As a result of portions getting bigger, people are getting bigger," she says. "On average, consumption of an additional 100 calories daily beyond your needs can lead to a weight gain of 10 pounds per year."

Smith offers the following suggestions that can help you avoid the super-size trap:

--Review the nutrition facts sheet when you visit a fast-food restaurant.

--Consider how hungry you are before you order. "Pay close attention to your fullness," she advises. "Eat at a slower pace and enjoy each bite. Give your body the chance to feel full. Avoid eating the entire meal just because it is there."

--Share a meal with a family member or friend. "Many times, the portions given are enough for more than one person," Smith notes.

--Avoid fried foods and foods high in fat. "You can order foods that are baked, broiled, grilled or roasted," she says. "If you are not sure how a dish on the menu is prepared, ask the server."

--Instead of fries, consider a side salad with a fat-free or reduced-calorie dressing.

--Order a diet soft drink or plain water.

--Skip the mayonnaise when ordering your favorite fast-food burger.

Smith also advises ordering a small, regular or junior burger. "A small burger may be large enough for you," she says.

Source: Penn State

Explore further: ER waiting times vary significantly, studies find

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Making drones more customizable

53 minutes ago

A first-ever standard "operating system" for drones, developed by a startup with MIT roots, could soon help manufacturers easily design and customize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for multiple applications.

Putting a value on what nature does for us

53 minutes ago

A new online resource, developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge in collaboration with other organisations based in Cambridge, helps those in both the public and private sector see how changes ...

Religious acceptance of homosexuals on the rise

1 hour ago

The willingness of religious congregations to welcome homosexuals as members—and place them in leadership positions—is on the rise, according to a new Duke University study.

Lessons for saving our forests

1 hour ago

In late July, UC Berkeley fire ecologist Scott Stephens was working in Stanislaus National Forest, gathering data on how a century had altered its character. What he saw were the signs of a clear and present ...

Recommended for you

ER waiting times vary significantly, studies find

16 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—When it comes to emergency room waiting times, patients seeking care at larger urban hospitals are likely to spend more time staring down the clock than those seen at smaller or more rural facilities, ...

Internists report considerable EMR-linked time loss

26 minutes ago

(HealthDay)—Use of electronic medical record (EMR) systems is associated with considerable loss of free time per clinic day, according to a research letter published online Sept. 8 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Kids eat better if their parents went to college

52 minutes ago

Children of college-educated parents eat more vegetables and drink less sugar, according to a new study from the University of British Columbia. But it's still not enough, the study goes on to say, as all kids are falling ...

Asia's rising tobacco epidemic

6 hours ago

Smoke-filled bars and packed cancer wards reflect decades of neglect of no-smoking policies in Asia, where both high- and low-income countries are belatedly waking up to a growing tobacco-related health ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

AJW
not rated yet May 07, 2008
Serving up more re - hash.