Fast Food Discovery

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This activity can be done in groups or individually, but seems to work better if each person does their own. Every time we do this, people are amazed at how many calories and fat are in fast food items.

1. As part of our education on making healthier choices at fast food restaurants, we ask participants to write down a typical fast food meal they would eat, using a condensed listing of foods from a variety of fast food restaurants.

2. We then have them add up the total calories, total fat, saturated fat and sodium in the meal. A few of the participants will share the results of their meal with the group.

3. Next, we talk about how to make "healthier" choices when eating fast food.

4. Using that information and the nutrition facts, participants come up with a modified version of their fast food meal that has fewer calories and less fat. Again, a few of the participants share the results of their meal with the group.

Rita Rutherford created a fast food display. She collected fast food containers from four McDonald’s meals:

• Regular hamburger, fries, Diet Coke

• Big Mac, small fries, small Coke

• Value meal

• Super-sized meal

Rita displayed a card next to each meal that showed the cost, fat content and sugar content. She used pats of margarine and teaspoons of granulated sugar piled on a plate as a visual to show the equivalent amounts with each meal chosen. This is a useful idea for portion sizing and fat and sugar education.

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