“Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onion, on a sesame seed bun,” we’ve all heard that famous Big Mac slogan before. In fact, in the documentary Super Size Me, several women interviewed knew it better than the Pledge of Allegiance. This big burger packs quite a dietary punch 560 calories, and 30 grams of fat. Make that a McMeal with large fries and a Coke, and you’ll come out to 1450 calories and 61 grams of fat. Scrumptious. But it seems that other burger chains just couldn’t go without creating their own mammoth sandwiches, far surpassing this king among meaty delicacies in size and fat.
Want to see something bigger? You needn’t look far just step inside our favorite local Burger King. There you’ll be introduced to the BK Stacker. As the restaurant aptly states, “It’s the flame-broiled meat lover’s burger and it’s here to stay.” Their biggest, the BK Quad Stacker, features four, count em, four burger patties, with a slice of cheese and two strips of bacon between each layer. That’s just over two-thirds of a pound of beef and cheese. It will probably come as no surprise then that the Quad Stacker packs in 1,000 calories with 68g of fat. That’s plenty, especially when you consider that the recommended diet for the average American contains about 2,000 calories and 65g of fat per day. With this slab of meat and cheese, you can reach these milestones in minutes! Believe it or not, that’s not even the biggest BK burger. After reading this, maybe you’ll think twice before eating a Triple Whopper with cheese. It is simply one burger, one pound, 1230 calories, 82g of fat; purely delicious. Make it a meal with large fries and a coke, and you’re just 70 calories short of your recommended limit, without breakfast or dinner. It’s truly amazing what BK has managed to pack into these little beauties. Sure, they taste great, but are you sure that you want that floating around in your arteries?
Of course, faced with the challenge of the Triple Whopper with cheese, where could the fast food industry go but up? Our final trip will take us to the smaller fast food chain of Hardee’s, inside is the emperor of over-sized burgers the Monster Thickburger. Within its buttered sesame seed bun, you’ll find two 1/3 pound slabs of Angus beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese, and of course, mayo. As Hardee’s CEO Andrew Puzder declared, this is “not a burger for tree-huggers.” Not with the heavy artillery in its arsenal 1420 calories, and 107g of fat. No, I don’t think you want fries with that. (Though Hardee’s will include medium fries and a soda for just $1.60 more.)
Just what is it that drives us to consume such unhealthy food? We’re all well aware that too many extra calories mean extra pounds, and in quantities like the Monster Thickburger, that means a whole lot of extra weight. However, that’s the least of our worries. It’s been proven that obesity has been linked to quite a few serious health problems, not the least of them the leading killer in the world, heart disease. Of course, if that doesn’t get to you, you’ll still increase your chances of having a stroke or developing diabetes. The sad truth is too many burgers can actually do that to you.
So why do we continue to subject ourselves to such unhealthy eating habits? The simplest answer is this it just tastes so good. It’s a cheap alternative to healthier dining, and convenient as well. You can have lunch including a main course, side and drink for under $5, and have it ordered and eaten in about ten or fifteen minutes. Don’t even have ten minutes to spare? Two words: Drive-thru. Not to mention it’s easy to access just try to drive five minutes around Fairless Hills without spotting a McDonald’s, Burger King or Wendy’s. Take a look at the alternative, a healthy lunch at a quality restaurant or cafe, say Olive Garden or something similar, will probably set you back a good $8-10, not to mention the tip. It’ll also take a small chunk out of your schedule: at least 45 minutes, if not an hour or more. And of course, healthy food rarely tastes as good as the deep-fried goodness you can get at a local fast food establishment.
The fast food giants really seem to have the perfect weapons at their disposal taste, convenience, and pricing. Maybe that’s why we’re the most obese nation in the world. Cheap, tasty food for heart attacks. That’s the real truth. And all of the Monster Thickburgers out there aren’t doing much to help.