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Food Porn: Hardees and the 920 Calorie Burrito – Pat Salber

ALeqM5jNgImy14J9JPP6T6BSvclEMyhaew.jpgPerhaps
the folks over at Hardee’s fast food haven’t heard the country is in
the midst of an obesity epidemic.  They have just unveiled a new
breakfast offering, the Country Breakfast burrito.  It consists of a
two egg omelet filled with bacon, sausage, diced ham, cheddar cheese,
hash browns and sausage gravy.  Surrounding this protein load is a
flour tortilla.  The burrito weighs in at 920 calories.  That’s right,
920 calories, about half of what you should ingest in a day.  This
little baby also has 60 grams of fat.  All those calories and all that
fat will only set you back $2.69.

According to a story by the Associated Press,
Brad Haley, Hardees’ marketing chief, says that the burrito offers the
sort of big breakfast item normally found in sit-down restaurants with
an added advantage.  “It makes this big country breakfast portable,” he
said.

Other Hardee’s offerings include the Monster
Thickburger, a 1,420-calorie sandwich that contains two 1/3-pound slabs
of beef, four strips of bacon, three slices of cheese and mayonnaise!
Want a healthy alternative?  Try the Hardees’ chicken salad –it is
only 1,100 calories and 83 grams of fat.  Supposedly, the chain does
offer some low-calorie options, including roast beef and chicken
sandwiches.

AP reports that the Center for Science in the Public
Interest, a Washington-based advocate for nutrition and health, has
called the Hardee’s line of Thickburgers “food porn.” I love it, food porn!

Jayne Hurley, senior nutritionist at the Center, said the burrito is “another
lousy invention by a fast-food company.”  The “country breakfast bomb,”
as she called it, represents half a day’s calories and a full day’s
worth of saturated fat and salt, to say nothing of cholesterol.
“That’s all before 10 o’clock in the morning,” she said.

Hardees’
Haley makes no apologies:  “We don’t try to hide what these are,” he
said. “When consumers go to other fast-food places they feel like
they’ve got to buy two of their breakfast sandwiches or burritos to
fill up. This is really designed to fill you up.”

Way to go, Hardees.  Keep on fillin’ us up.

Patricia Salber MD MBA is host of The Doctor Weighs In. This post first appeared on that site.

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ass sexRobby TannerpcbStuart BrowningTim Recent comment authors
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ass sex
Guest

Hi pcb
I think all this not so badly, and it is necessary
to continue to move in this direction!!!

Robby Tanner
Guest
Robby Tanner

Eating habits are SO hard to change. My diet is terrible; I’m a 60 year old single male and I eat mostly fast food or frozen food from the supermarket. I’m not likely to change, I’m just not interested in taking the time to plan menus, shop, & prepare meals. I do have two habits I hope help compensate for this; I work out fairly often and I take supplements. The supplements seem to make a huge difference. I’d always been a bit skeptical until I tried them. Now I’m sold. My favorites come from Jean Carper’s Stop Aging Now… Read more »

Peter
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Peter

Barry, I bet that a BMI surcharge will be characterized as racism by the black community as I think that sector has a much higher BMI per capita. Won’t fly. Here in NC BC/BS is promoting health prevention through exercise and eating habits. So far no signs of reduced premiums for achieving goals, only minor promotional gifts even though they say employers will get improved productivity. There is no leadership in the insurance industry anyway. If there were we’d have these programs now. The best insurance client is one who has paid premiums for years, gets sick, can’t work, can’t… Read more »

Barry Carol
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Barry Carol

Peter, I think an insurance surcharge would work fine and would be perfectly transparent. For the 170 million people (including family members) who get their health insurance through an employer, the employer would collect the surcharge through a payroll deduction. For those who purchase insurance, it would be a line item on their bill – standard rate plus smoking surcharge (if applicable) plus obesity surcharge (in applicable). For Medicare beneficiaries, they would also pay the surcharge (if applicable) in the form of higher Part B premiums. We would probably have to exempt the poor on a means tested basis. I… Read more »

Andrew Sotirokos DPT, CSCS
Guest
Andrew Sotirokos DPT, CSCS

Peter, you clearly missed the point of mt post of paying for preventative care. For example if someone comes to me for physical therapy for low back pain and I show them exercises to strengthen their core abdominal musculature and hips and maintain good flexibilty and instruct them in a cardiovascular exercise program over 12 visits, then they maintain that, let’s do the math. 12 PT visits: $1500. Lumbar spine fusion surgery: $14,000. Another example: the average coronary artery bypass surgery costs $44,000. Which number looks better to you? By preventing illness, we save money by not having to pay… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

“Politicians all too frequently use general”
This should have been: “Politicians all too frequently use general revenues to enrichen their friends and play hide the ball with fiscal honesty.”
I had a minor household emergency to solve and lost my editing position.

Peter
Guest
Peter

pcb, yes, yes, and yes again. If it’s got a kitchen then it’s taxed. Subway has the Veggie Delight but it also has the double cheese, extra meatball with sauce. The more loopholes and exceptions you give the larger the tax needs to be and it becomes an administration nightmare. Barry, “Ironically, however, if we are successful in reducing the incidence of obesity significantly and people live longer, it may ultimately cost society more in medical costs”, there are those unforseen consequences. I guess we should encourage the worst behavior possible in hopes that dealth will control costs. At this… Read more »

pcb
Guest
pcb

Peter,
Is Subway taxed in your model? Local sandwich shops or only national chains? Burger joints? Applebees? Jamba Juice? (have you seen the calories on some of those?, -no matter how “organic” the ingredients are-)
All the food on the menu taxed? Grilled chicken sandwich at Burger King? Size of the item matter?
Please, give us some details on what makes calories bad and what makes ’em good.
Barry’s comment on this “probably being an insurmountable challenge” is an understatement.

Barry Carol
Guest
Barry Carol

Peter, I think you and I are in basic agreement about the fact that incentives matter and that we need to try to find effective ways to encourage healthy behavior and discourage unhealthy behavior. Alcohol and tobacco taxes work because there are a very small number of companies that manufacture these products which makes the taxes comparatively easy to collect at the manufacturer level. Taxes on unhealthy food are a different matter. It is probably an insurmountable challenge to design a tax that does the job, can be effectively administered and collected, does not create huge compliance costs for business,… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

pcp, I researched Orwell and taxes but could find no reference. I did find a couple of Orwellian references that can be applied to our present regime though: “War is Peace”, “Ignorance is Strenth” and the thought that perpetual war is good. In the case of a calorie tax I guess you first have to believe that obesity is a problem, then if you feel it’s worth fighting, come up with a system to do that. I view a calorie tax as just another sin tax. We seem to understand and accept that the use of alcohol and cigarettes add… Read more »

Andrew Sotirokos DPT, CSCS
Guest
Andrew Sotirokos DPT, CSCS

Let’s try another track instead of the “tax everything bad” route. Why don’t we simply agree to pay for preventative care, whether it’s gym memberships, nutritional consults, etc. Feel free to insert your idea here. On the flip side, if you don’t take advantage of preventative care that is paid for, should we really be obligated to pick up the cost of that heart disease that was entirely preventable. It’s pretty easy to track people who adhere to preventative principles by tracking visits to a gym, physical therapist, nutritionist, etc. If people have taken steps to prevent disease and still… Read more »

pcb
Guest
pcb

Following this thread, I feel like I’m reading a pitch for an Orwellian Twilight Zone episode Calories are bad. I get it. We should tax sugar, vegetable oil, lard, bacon ,sausage, beef, etc. at the grocery store. Heck, rice an beans are pretty high density caloriewise, tax the hell out of them too. No? Just “fast food?” What is that? Who gets to define that? Can I get some guacomole on my Chipotle burrito without the govt. getting an additonal take? What if I promise to go for a run in the morning? What if I order a small fry?… Read more »

Tim
Guest
Tim

Peter, I’m not trying to sound like an old fogey waxing about the “good old days” (I’m 42, I’m not *that* old!), but my point remains that I think we’re waging “war” on a relatively small part of the problem — the specific foods people are eating. The “war” needs to be waged on two fronts, and I’d argue that the more important front — exercise — is not being waged much at all. So in that sense we have a failure to prioritize. As long as we focus on that and not today’s more sedentary lifestyles, the “war on… Read more »

Peter
Guest
Peter

Tim, when you and I were kids there was no obesity problem, hence no measures were needed to fight a problem that didn’t exist. The fact is today more people, including children, have sedentary lives and we have an obesity epidemic that (for stuarts interest) is adding unnessessarily to the cost of everyones healthcare and controlling other peoples wealth through premiums or taxes. There has been much discussion about putting gym class back into school. Does recess still exist? I have explained how the calorie tax would work if you re-read the posts. But sure, we can sit around and… Read more »

Stuart Browning
Guest

How about a tax on your blog postings Peter?
I’m constantly amazed at the audacity of little twits wanting to control other peoples’ lives and wealth.