Despite the addition of some healthy menu items, fast food is even more insane for you than it was 30 years ago. An analysis of the offers in 10 of the most popular fast food restaurants in the US. UU. In 1986, 1991 and 2016, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, it shows that fast-food meals, sides and desserts significantly increased calories and sodium and intake and desserts in portion size over time. It also shows that while the variety of starters, sides and desktop options rose by 226 percent, the new or discontinued elements tended to be less healthy than those available throughout the study period.
"Our study offers some ideas on how fast foods can help feed the continuing problem of obesity and related chronic conditions in the United States. Despite the large number of options offered in fast-food restaurants, some of which are healthier than others, calories, portion sizes and sodium content in general have worsened (increased) over time and remain high, "said lead researcher Megan A. McCrory, PhD, Department of Science at Health, Sargent College, Boston University, Boston, MA.
Fast-food restaurants are on the rise throughout the world. In the United States, about 37 percent of adults (of age> 20 years) eat fast foods on any given day and this increases up to 45 percent for adults aged 20 to 39 years. A meal with entree and side offers an average of 767 kcal, or about 40 percent of a 2,000 calorie diet per day. Adds a calorie drink and the amount increases up to 45-50 percent of a person's daily calorie intake. Dr McCrory observed: "Given the popularity of fast food foods, our study highlights one of the changes in our food environment that is probably part of the reason for the increase in obesity and related chronic conditions over the last decades, which are now among the main causes of death in the U. "
Dr. McCrory and colleagues examined changes in the period of 30 years between 1986 and 2016 in energy, portion size, energy density, sodium, iron and calcium of the menu items in the inlets, sidewalks and desserts offered by 10 categories above Restaurants feed (according to sales). The data was collected using The Fast Food Guide, published in 1986 and 1991 and online sources in 2016. The most significant results were:
– The total quantity of dishes, desserts and sides increased by 226 percent, or 22.9 items per year.
– The calories in the three categories increased significantly, with increased increases in desserts (62 kcal per decade), followed by starters (30 kcal per decade). These increases were mainly due to the increase in portion sizes, which was statistically significant in the categories of starters (13 grams per decade) and desserts (24 grams per decade).
– Sodium has also increased significantly in all menu categories.
In four of the 10 restaurants studied, information was available on the calcium and iron content. Calcium increased significantly in starters and desserts, while iron levels increased significantly in desserts.
The change in the levels of calcium and iron in some of the categories of menus, especially desserts, is a positive development since these nutrients are important for good bone mass and to prevent anemia. However, researchers point out that there are better sources that do not come from high calories and sodium. Dr. McCrory expressed the hope that the results of the study lead to greater awareness and creative solutions. "We need to find better ways to help people to consume less calories and sodium in fast food restaurants. The requirement that chain restaurants show calories in their menus is a start. We want to see more changes, such as restaurants that offer more portions small at a proportional price, "he concluded.
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Fast food offers in the United States in 1986, 1991 and 2016 show large increases in the food variety, portion size, dietary energy and selected micronutrients. Megan A. McCrory, Allen G. Harbaugh, Sarah Appear, Susan B. Roberts. Magazine of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2018.12.004.