Nutrition Action Healthletter
Right Stuff Food Porn
Fire-Grilled Santa Fe Chicken Baguette sandwich

It’s amazing what the threat of a lawsuit can do. While a highly publicized suit failed to hold McDonald’s accountable for its patrons’ obesity, the court action clearly caught the industry’s attention.

McDonald’s is test-marketing (in Indiana) a Go Active Happy Meal that contains a main-dish salad, a bottle of water, an exercise booklet, and a pedometer (to encourage walking). The meal leans too heavy on the salt shaker, but salad and water is a step up from burger, fries, and a Coke.

And Burger King has launched its new Lite Combo Meals. Customers can order a (delicious) Fire-Grilled Santa Fe Chicken Baguette sandwich (shown above) or a Smoky BBQ or Savory Mustard version, plus a garden side salad (ask for Light Italian dressing) and a bottled water.

The meals deliver a hefty dose of sodium (the Santa Fe, for example, has 1,600 mg). And the baguette hasn’t a crumb of whole grain. Even so, a fast-food meal with 430 calories and just three grams of saturated fat is a steal. What’s more, BK lets you order a side salad and water instead of fries and a soda with any of its Value Meals.

At least both chains are trying. Guess no one thought of it before the lawsuit.


"We are offering fast food consumers what they truly want," announced Hardee’s last January. That’s when the fast-food chain started switching "to an entirely new menu focused on 1/3-pound, 1/2-pound, and 2/3-pound Angus beef burgers, called Thickburgers."

"Thick" is right…and it doesn’t apply only to the burgers.

The smallest (1/3-pound) Thickburger has 740 calories and 16 grams of saturated fat. That’s roughly double what you’d get in a McDonald’s Quarter Pounder, which is missing the Thickburger’s mayo and cheese (and some of its meat).

But apparently that’s just a snack to those Hardee’s customers who "truly want" the 1,090 calories and 29 grams of sat fat in the 2/3-pound Thickburger.

Want more? The 2/3-pound Monster Thickburger has two patties, three slices of cheese, and four strips of bacon, for a total of 1,200 calories and 34 grams of sat fat.

Two out of three Americans are overweight, heart attacks are our leading cause of death, and Hardee’s is selling 1,200-calorie burgers with more than a day’s saturated fat?

Just doing its part to make us thick around the middle and thick around the heart. Hardee’s must think we’re thick around the brain.

Burger King: (305) 378-3535.
McDonald’s: (800) 244-6227.


Hardee’s: (704) 892-5490.
Nutrition Action Healthletter Center for Science in the Public Interest April 2002 U.S. Edition Subscribe Today! Customer Service