The fast foods of today are increasingly adding on to our obesity and overweight. Despite the addition of healthy foods such as salads and sprouts to the menu, fast food is less healthy today than it was 30 years ago. A study led by researchers at Boston University demonstrates that calories, portion sizes, and sodium content overall have increased over time and remain high.
Given the popularity of fast food, the study highlights one of the changes in the fast food environment that is likely part of the reason for the increase in obesity and related chronic conditions over the past several decades, which are now among the main causes of death. It is found that the total number of starters, desserts and side dishes increased by 226 percent Calories in all three categories increased significantly, with the largest increases in desserts, followed by starters. These increases were mainly due to the increase in portion size, which was statistically significant in entrees and desserts categories. Sodium also increased significantly in all menu categories, while iron levels increased significantly in desserts.
Changes in calcium and iron levels, particularly in desserts, is a positive development since these nutrients are important for good bone mass and preventing anaemia. There are, however, better sources (foods) that do not come with high calories and sodium,.Better ways are needed to help people consume fewer calories and sodium at fast food restaurants. The requirement that chain restaurants display calories on their menus is a start