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Unhappy Meals: Five McDonald’s Items with More Fat and Calories than a Big Mac

A Report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
September 2010

How unhealthy is the McDonald’s menu? The world’s largest fast-food chain serves a long list of high-fat, high-cholesterol items and offers almost no healthful choices, according to an analysis with dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Even many McDonald’s items that consumers may believe are healthful—salads, for example—are generally high in calories, fat, and sodium.

The Big Mac, the chain’s signature sandwich, packs a walloping 540 calories and 29 grams of fat—but it is hardly the most unhealthful item on the menu. Here are five McDonald’s menu items with more fat and calories than a Big Mac:

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
42 grams of fat, 740 calories, 155 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,380 milligrams of sodium

Angus Bacon and Cheese
39 grams of fat, 790 calories, 145 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,070 milligrams of sodium

Sausage Biscuit with Egg (Large Size Biscuit)
37 grams of fat, 570 calories, 250 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,280 milligrams of sodium

Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken and Ranch Dressing
35 grams of fat, 600 calories, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,450 milligrams of sodium

McSkillet Burrito with Sausage
36 grams of fat, 610 calories, 410 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,390 milligrams of sodium

PCRM's provocative fast-food commercial draws attention to the link between heart disease deaths and fast food:

 

 

Dishonorable Mention: Targeting Young People

The children’s meals sold by McDonald’s are especially noteworthy for their high levels of fat and calories. With 840 calories, 37 grams of fat, and about as much sodium as a child should consume in an entire day, McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal topped a recent PCRM list of the five most unhealthful fast-food meals marketed to children.

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