Case Study: Has Fast Food Become Healthier

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Has Fast Food Become Healthier? Low-calorie choices are becoming more common. But can we call fast food healthy? By Toby Amidor | Contributor Oct. 21, 2013, at 2:05 p.m. Has Fast Food Become Healthier? MORE Although the words "fast food" and "dietitian" seem contradictory, I do indulge in a fast-food meal several times a year. When I was growing up, I had the Burger King crown and McDonald 's glass cup – to me, the childhood memories associated with these chains are undeniable. Nowadays, you can 't go down most highways or through most towns without these in-your-face joints lining the streets. From burgers to Chinese food to Mexican fare, there 's a multicultural adventure right in our backyards. In recent years, many chains have been called…show more content…
It 's defined as "of, relating to or specializing in food that can be prepared and served quickly." In the 1930s, Howard Johnson franchised a second location to a colleague as a way to expand his operations during the Great Depression. Once everyone owned cars, the idea of drive-thru was a novel concept and allowed more folks to grab food on-the-go. Over the past 60 years, the fast-food industry 's popularity has skyrocketed. According to National Restaurant Association forecasts, fast food restaurant sales are expected to total $188.1 billion in 2013. This is a 4.9 percent increase from…show more content…
Many fast-food offerings are high in calories, artery-clogging saturated fat and sodium. In 2010, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unveiled guidelines for a mandatory menu calorie count to be implemented in March 2011 for all chain restaurants with 20 or more locations. Once these numbers were reported, there was no doubt that most choices at fast-food joints were just unhealthy ones. The demand for healthy fast food has led to changes throughout the fast-food industry. Here are some of those changes: Chipotle. A public concern that has been addressed by this Mexican fast-food chain is food sourcing. Chipotle strives to achieve "Food with Integrity," meaning food that tastes better, is from better sources and is better for animals and the environment. Chipotle works with local farmers and ranchers to ensure their operations create as little impact to the environment as possible. The company sources 100 percent of their cheese and sour cream from pasture-raised cows, and 100 percent of their pork and beef have been naturally raised, which means they were raised in a humane way, fed a vegetarian diet and never given hormones. Despite the best efforts for food integrity, it 's easy to pack more than 900 calories when ordering a chicken and bean burrito. However, with careful planning and conservative ingredients you can create a 400- to 500-calorie

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