Being accused of contributing to the rapidly growing rates of obesity and diseases, fast food restaurants are trying to persuade their customers that fast food can fit into their diet. The brochures with the nutritional information will help people to make healthy choices.
The Congress requires fast food chains to display calorie counts on menu boards and to list saturated fats, carbohydrates and sodium content. Usually customers are not aware of the amount of fat and calories in their favorite sauce or in salad dressing. Now when the information is available they've got the possibility to choose fast food healthiest options. The fast food companies will also be required to warn their clients that frequent fast-food consumption can raise the risk of getting obese.
Fast food for dieters must be treated seriously. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, fast food habits are affecting people's health. Nearly 300,000 annual deaths are connected with weight. Obesity is seen as the main reason of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Fast food portions are usually larger than those consumed at home, moreover fast food is cooked with more fat than we usually use while cooking at home. Even salads, which are promoted as fast food for dieters, don't differ much from high-caloric burgers. For example, Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad with Newman's Own Ranch Dressing, which is served in McDonald's, contains 43 grams of fat. The Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad is even worse with its 661 calories and 51 grams of fat. Such restaurant salads can be healthier if ordered with low-fat dressing and lower amount of cheese and meat.
Many of the world's fast food industry giants promote fast food for dieters in their restaurants, enlarging the variety of dishes. Burger King has introduced its "Angus Diet", which is low-carb. The new Angus Burger contains 570 calories, 64 grams of carbs and 41 grams of protein. In December 2004 Burger King sponsored the President's Challenge Physical Activity Fitness Awards Program.
After decades of burgers, fries and sodas, McDonald's is now trying to create the image of obesity fighter. Its new Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with dressing is designed to meet the requirement of fast food for dieters. It contains 390 calories, 24 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates. McDonald's also introduced Adult Happy Meals, which is now available at many McDonald's restaurants.
Taco Bell offers a new Fresco-Style Chalupa Chicken Supreme, which contains 310 calories, 14 grams of fat and 30 grams of carbohydrates.
Blimpie promotes a new Carb Counter Menu of chips, subs and drinks. In exchange for Blimpie coupons customers must bring their pants, which are now too large.
The Subway has announced a new "Atkins-friendly" menu, offering low-carb sandwiches.
Despite the fact that fast food restaurants now turn to healthier alternatives, it is not advisable to visit them more than once a week. Home cooked meals must dominate over fast food in order to reduce the risk of diseases and obesity.