Thursday, March 01, 2007

What Makes A Big Mac Look Like Health Food?

If you've seen a menu at Ruby Tuesday -- or rather, the nutritional info behind it -- you know it makes a McDonald's menu look like Weight Watchers. Of course it's not just Ruby Tuesday's (I don't even know what Ruby Tuesday is… when I was a kid, Ruby Tuesday was a 'Stones song). But anyway, Ruby Tuesday is one of a few restaurants raising concerns among law makers and health watchdogs, reports the LA Times.

In one chart, we see Ruby's "Fresh Chicken & Broccoli Pasta" weighing in at 2,061 calories with 128 grams of fat. Of course that's about all the calories you need in a day and three times the fat. By comparison, a Big Mac is just 540 calories with 29 grams of fat. So, if you're trying to eat light, skip Ruby's (or Macaroni Grill, or Cheesecake Factory for that matter), and pull through the McDonald's drive thru.

Doesn't "Fresh Chicken & Broccoli Pasta" sound healthy? This reminds me of the way our government uses pleasant words like "sparrow" and "patriot" to describe not-so-pleasant things like missiles.

Other super-unhealthy dishes in the LA Times report are Uno Chicago Grill's "Pizza Skins" (which pack 2,060 calories and 134 grams of fat), and On the Border's "Ranchilada" (boasting 1,870 merry calories and an unknown amount of fat).

According to one expert, these dishes "are seemingly designed to promote obesity, heart disease and stroke." Not sure if I agree with that. I'd say they are designed to make customers feel full, make them come back for more, and ultimately, maximize sales. Hey, they wouldn’t sell this stuff if people weren't buying it, right? Or am I being naïve?

Whatever the case, law makers are taking action. Bills in the California state senate may someday force restaurant chains to print nutrition information (like calorie, fat and carb counts) on menus.

About Me

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.