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Fast Food More Harmful in America

An interesting comparison of fast-food restaurant food around the world revealed some interesting details that shouldn't surprise Americans living in the epicenter of the obesity epidemic plaguing our world. The worst of the lot: Chances are good you'll find fried fast foods with higher amounts of trans fats in America than in other nations. And, the trans fat content in food varies completely based on geography.

So, the French fries you buy at a New York McDonald's, for example, may contain up to 30 percent more trans fats than the same product sold in Atlanta. The same fries and hot wings meal sold in Poland KFC locations, however, may contain almost four times as much trans fats (19 grams) than in New York, whereas restaurants in Germany and Denmark selling the same thing have less than a gram.

Danish researchers arrived at their conclusions by comparing the trans fats contained in chicken nuggets and Buffalo wings sold at McDonald's and Kentucky Fried Chicken, respectively, as well as fried potatoes from locations in dozens of countries.

Another thing about this metabolic poison in terms of dollars and cents comes from the Center for Science in the Public Interest: One expert estimates it would cost consumers a penny per order to pay for food cooked without partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.

Fact is, the problem has never been an inability to distinguish healthy foods from the unhealthy. Failing to make the right choices determines how healthy you'll be. And, based on Colleen Huber's awesome piece, organic foods are no more expensive than processed foods and, in some cases, they can even be cheaper.

New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 354, No. 15, April 13, 2006: 1650-1652

MSNBC April 12, 2006

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