Biggie Size Madness

Do most Americans want four patties, four slices of cheese and four strips of bacon on a burger? Do we crave a breakfast that exceeds 1,200 calories? Are we deprived without a bacon cheeseburger deep dish pizza?

Absolutely, say the food pushers spokespeople for U.S. restaurant chains. According to the New York Times, chain restaurateurs insist that most Americans don't worry about a silly thing called portion size.

Despite healthier choices on menus everywhere, they claim that most of want nothing to do with salads or tofu. What we want, they contend, is a ridiculous amount of food — especially food that's high in calories, salt and saturated fat.

Consider a few of the latest fast food hits:

  • Burger King's new BK Stacker is decribed as "A Mountain of Meat and Cheese." It's a bacon cheese-burger, quadrupled. (It's got approx. 1,000 calories.)
  • Denny's Extreme Grand Slam Breakfast includes eggs, hash-browns and with three of each: bacon, sausage and pancakes. (Approx. 1,270 calories.)
  • Hardees' new Monster Thickburger is a best-seller. (Approx. 1,410 calories - or about 70% of a person's recommended daily intake.)

With sky-high calorie counts like these, it's not surprising that roughly half of all U.S. chains refuse to disclose nutritional information about their menus. If they did, the general public might realize that they'd just consumed enough calories, salt, fat, carbs, etc. etc. till the year 2012.

Somewhere along the way, we seem have tumbled down the rabbit hole. Everywhere we look, we see "Eat Me/Drink Me" signs and the majority of us happily comply. Our portion sizes keep growing and growing. Our bodies keep growing and growing. Meanwhile, our perspective on what "normal" means grows more and more distorted.

Let's face it: We're in bad shape when a Big Mac — which has 560 calories — starts to look downright sensible.

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