Doonesbury adds up the calories

Don't eat here

I was reading the Sunday comics in our local paper and did a double take at the message in "Doonesbury," always one of my favorite cartoons. Zonker is working at "McFriendly's" and there's an emergency staff meeting. Their boss, termed Mr. Big, is there and talks about the chain falling behind their competition.

What's going on is their appetizer special isn't offering enough calories compared to Applebee's appetizer sampler (@2,590 calories) and Chili's Texas Cheese Fries (@2,100 calories) with the latter offering a full day's worth of calories "packed into an appetizer {bolding taken directly from the cartoon}).

We don't eat fast food (once in a while while on a trip we'll stop at Subway which has nutrition info listed), but I decided to check into these incredible numbers.

Guess what; they're real. A variety of fast food chains (Applebees, Chilis, On the Border) and restaurants (Outback Steakhouse) offer appetizers that boggle my mind. Remember, these are appetizers, and even if one presumes they're shared with one to three others, if you follow them with a meal, you'll be so far over the dietary guidelines you might as well be on a spaceship.

I found a website titled "The 20 Worst Foods in America" and looked at a few items. Applebee's apparently offers (or, to be charitable, offered at sometime in the recent past), an onion appetizer called the "Awesome Blossom." This one had 2,710 calories, 168 grams of fat and 6,360 mg. of sodium (my goal is 1,500 mg of sodium a day or less).

No wonder we're tipping the scales at higher and higher numbers; no wonder two thirds of our population is overweight and/or obese.

Don't eat these things. Best of all, don't eat in these places, at least until they clean up their act.

Yet we're at fault, at least partially. We've allowed ourselves to be gulled by the big corporations' propaganda and find it easier to eat out than to cook from scratch.

Our kids learn from our example, even when they appear to resist what we say, they often do what we do.

It's time and past time to walk (or drive) away.

Thanks, Garry Trudeau. You were right on target.



One Response to “Doonesbury adds up the calories”

  1. Teresa Funke says:

    Peter, check out a book called "Eat This, Not That." We keep it in our car. It details the best and worst items you can order at a number of fast food and chain restaurants. Shocking how unhealthy some of the items are. And sometimes it's really surprising what the results are. You may think you're eating healthier to order the fish sandwich at one restaurant, when really the guide recommends the cheeseburger. My kids love looking at that book and informing our choices.

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