As people eat more meals outside the home, they consume more calories, less fiber, and more fat. Commodity prices have fallen so low that the fast food industry has greatly increased its portion sizes, without reducing profits, in order to attract customers. The size of a burger has become one of its main selling points. Wendy’s offers the Triple Decker; Burger King, the Great American; and Hardee’s sells a hamburger called the Monster. The Little Caesars slogan “Big! Big!” now applies not just to the industry’s portions, but to its customers. Over the past forty years in the United States, per capita consumption of carbonated soft drinks has more than quadrupled. During the late 1950s the typical soft drink order at a fast food restaurant contained about eight ounces of soda; today a “Child” order of Coke at McDonald’s is twelve ounces. A “Large” Coke is thirty-two ounces-and about 310 calories. In 1972, McDonald’s added Large French Fries to its menu; twenty years later, the chain added Super Size Fries, a serving three times larger than what McDonald’s offered a generation ago. Super Size Fries have 610 calories and 29 grams of fat. At Carl’s Jr. restaurants, an order of CrissCut Fries and a Double Western Bacon Cheeseburger boasts 73 grams of fat — more fat than ten of the chain’s milk shakes.
–from Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser
Last week most voters appeared to abstain, as Regina Spektor’s Samson took home a weak victory with a 42 percent plurality of the vote. Join us again next week as we pay tribute to the World Series of Poker main event with songs about gambling.