What is you and your family’s your relationship to fast food? Do you eat it regularly? Do you never touch the stuff?
Fast food is about as American as baseball and (McDonald’s) apple pie. In fact, according to a new study, Americans get a whopping 11% of their calories from burgers, fries and 1,000 calorie taco salads. The research, released by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asked participants whether they had eaten any fast food or pizza in the past 24 hours.
The study points to some interesting demographic differences: for one, the older you get, the less likely you are to eat fast food. Ah, the wisdom that comes with age. Younger Americans tend to eat fewer calories from fast food as their income rises — however, income has no correlation to fast food consumption among the over 40 set. Unsurprisingly, obese people eat the most fast food on average.
As shocking as this percentage is, though, it’s not the worst news in the world – this actually is a decrease from previous years. Between 2003 and 2006, Americans ate nearly 13% of their calories at fast food establishments. The 1990s saw a significant surge in fast food consumption – -and this surge is finally beginning to lose its steam. All we can do is hope that, the next time this data comes around, the percentage will drop even more! That, in addition to making healthier eating choices and steering our children away from fast food, of course!
I live in Japan, so you can imagine the food costs here. At the moment, the JPY is about 93 to 1 USD. Think of yen as pennies and it's easier to do the math.
Typically, an apple will cost anywhere from 98 yen to 300 yen, depending on size and place of purchase. I recently found a market near my school where I could buy a box of apples for 940 yen! I was ecstatic! That was 19 apples, which I divided up (along with cost) with a friend of mine here in town. I eat an apple for breakfast everyday, so you can imagine my glee.
Buying a hand-basket's worth of veggies and fruits can cost me anywhere from 1000 yen at the cheapest, to 3500 yen. Again, it depends on the bargains and where I shop. If I want cilantro, for instance, I can buy it for 128 yen, getting a few small sprigs in a plastic baggie (versus the bunches that are available back home in the states... *sigh* No pico de gallo here... not how I like it).
Meat, when I bought it, was usually around 250 yen for a small pack (1/2 lb?) of what I call "bork." It's mixed beef and pork... Finding ground beef can be somewhat difficult at times. Getting about a 1lb of beef was around 500, give or take. Chicken prices were slightly less... Fish prices are usually the best, of the meats, but I live in an island nation, so that's not too shocking.
Eating out depends, as well. If I go for katsudon or the like, there's a really cheap place near the college that costs 650 yen. That's the best deal I've seen. Still, you are given a bunch of rice and fried things--not good for eating healthy. Oh well! Most midrange places cost about 1200 or so. When I go to curry, it's usually 1300 at the cheapest, or if I'm going fancy, around 2000.
As for the fast food places, they cost roughly 650-800 depending on what you get. McD's is about 750, if you upsize a big mac combo. The 100 yen menu has things like 4 chicken nuggets, a simple hamburger, or a small fry. They also have something called shakka-shakka chicken which is pretty yummy, but not healthy by any means. KFC is EXPENSIVE... I couldn't tell you their prices. I think I've eaten there twice in my four years of living here, and the last time was because friends wanted to meet there. (And their biscuits have HOLES in them and aren't browned! WTF?)
Anyway, if you compare the prices... the veggies and fruits I usually buy about 3x a week... It might even out, but I think it comes out to being a little cheaper. Sure, I have to put in more effort, but I can feel the difference and see it in my improving numbers. You can afford to eat well, if you look for the bargains...
Also... BEANS. Beans rock and are affordable. Eat more beans. :>
It's interesting to learn about prices in Japan.
I very much enjoy KFC, but can't tell you the prices here because I refuse to lay down the fortune they want. The few times I've eaten their chicken is when someone else treated me.
Beans, beans, the musical fruit, the more I eat, the more regular I am. :)
Yeah, we rarely ate KFC at home, now that I think about it... Usually when we did, though, we'd make sure to get the coleslaw. Mom loves the stuff.
Are you eating black beans Nerdlass? I read they are healthy.
I'm eating all kinds, but mostly chickpea and adzuki. Adzuki beans are little red beans that are popular in Asia. Here, sugar is added to them and they are made into a paste to fill confections (my favorite is a sesame seed ball). I buy them dry so I can use them without sugar. They do well with chili recipes. :)
I bought a can of black beans awhile ago and made chili with it and some red kidney beans, last week. I can get dried black beans here, but I don't know if they are the same species of bean as the ones back home. Worth a look into.
My go to for chickpeas is to make chana masala or hummus.
If you saw "Supersize Me" -- a documentary about what happens when you eat nothing but McD for a month -- you'll never touch the stuff again.
It's about maturity and foresight. We have only one body each - best not to screw it up. More than once I've eaten with a kid in his 20s who's ordered a double bacon cheeseburger, as if to say, "Here's what I can eat, and you can't."
Yes, Alan I have heard of that movie - and I would love to see it. I just need to take some time to see it. I will look online - maybe there's some of the movie online.
I show the movie to my English club. It's a view of America, for one, but it also shows them that they should be careful about how much they go to McDs or KFC, here in Japan, as well.
And there are still temptations, even then. Right now, Japan McDs has a promotion of the American burger... They're various styles of burgers based on US states (though not typically fare from the state, as was the case with the Texas burger... BBQ sauce? Wut...). The most popular one has returned and all my friends are eating it... LOL I missed it last year, and I'll miss it this year, due to the diet I'm on (vegan). It's called the Idaho burger... They add a hashbrown to it. LOL
One footnote to this discussion: A considerable amount of dietary excess occurs at non-chain restaurants which fly under the radar and do not have to post nutrition info. In our neck of the woods, a nearby Sandwich Master restaurant, while it does serve healthy salads, offers up such delicaties as the Grand Duke - a breakfast sandwich with hash browns, scrambled eggs, cheese and sausage, dusted with powdered sugar and served on a hoagie roll. Another sandwich has five kinds of meat. YUM!!