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America's Love For Junk Food Continues Unabated

Lately, I've been posting quite a bit of news about mega fast-food chains like McDonald's , Panera Bread and Wendy's taking the big step to add healthier alternatives to their typical high-fat menus.

The lead feature in Friday morning's USA Today (one of my favorite newspapers in the world) showed just how much Americans seem to be appreciating all these new healthy choices: Not all that much. A quote by a VP with the NPD Group, a company that tracks consumer eating habits, really says it all: "Americans have always had the means to eat healthier. But they do not have the will."

Think about it. Some 47 percent of the money Americans spend on food this year -- an astonishing $476 billion according to the National Restaurant Association -- will be eaten away from home.

So it shouldn't be all that surprising to you, CKE Enterprises CEO Andy Puzder revived the fortunes of its Hardee's and Carls' Jr. restaurants with such artery-clogging confections as the Monster Thickburger (1,412 calories and pictured above) and Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Shake (715 calories). Or that Burger King's breakfast sales have jumped 20 percent after the introduction of its Enormous Omelet Sandwich (730 calories and 47 grams of fat).

According to the NPD Group, the lists of the top 10 foods eaten in restaurants by men and women didn't vary much at all. The seven that made both lists:

  • Hamburger
  • French Fries
  • Pizza
  • Breakfast sandwich
  • Side Salad
  • Main salad
  • Chinese food

So, if you're still spending the majority of your weekly food budget in restaurants -- and you wonder why you're still not losing weight -- maybe it's time to consider a different strategy. I certainly have plenty of tools to help you get started in the right direction on my Web site.

The best first step: Learn how to optimize your diet based on your body's unique nutritional type. After reviewing the information, I invite you to take my free nutritional typing test.

If you want to know how well this lifestyle change works, I strongly encourage you to read future naturopathic doctor Colleen Huber's recent feature on healthy alternatives to junk food.

USA Today May 13, 2005

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