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The Physicians Committee



NEWS RELEASE December 8, 2008

Dietitians Name Five Unhealthiest Value Menu Items; Jack in the Box's Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, McDonald's New McDouble on List of Worst Cheap Eats

New Report Also Finds Easy-on-the-Wallet Items from Taco Bell, Burger King, and Wendy's Are Hard on Health

WASHINGTON—Jack in the Box's high-fat Junior Bacon Cheeseburger is the most unhealthful "Value Menu" item served by a major national fast-food chain, according to a new analysis by dietitians with the nonprofit Cancer Project. McDonald’s new $1 McDouble sandwich and Taco Bell’s 89 cent Cheesy Double Beef Burrito are among the other items singled out in the report "Cheap Eats for Hard Times: The Five Most Unhealthful Fast Food Value Menu Items."

To compile the report, Cancer Project dietitians reviewed nutrition information for items on the Value Menus of five national fast food chains. The five most unhealthful items were ranked from worst to least bad. Jack in the Box’s Junior Bacon Cheeseburger, a $1 sandwich with a hamburger patty and hefty helpings of cheese and mayo-onion sauce, topped the list because it has 23 grams of fat, 860 milligrams of sodium, and bacon, a processed meat associated with increased colorectal cancer risk.

The report found that most items on Value Menus are high in fat, saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol, and many also contain processed meats and grilled meats, which are linked to increased cancer risk.

"Dollar menus might be easy on the wallet, but these high-fat fast foods can be really hard on your health," says Cancer Project staff dietitian Krista Haynes, R.D., L.D. "People looking for food bargains can cut their risk of heart disease and cancer by steering clear of cheeseburgers and choosing low-fat vegetarian meals. A bean burrito with tomatoes is cheap, and a steady diet of them won’t land you in the hospital."

Rank

Worst Value Menu Item

Fast-Food Restaurant

1

Junior Bacon Cheeseburger

Jack in the Box

2

Cheesy Double Beef Burrito

Taco Bell

3

Breakfast Sausage Biscuit

Burger King

4

McDouble

McDonald’s

5

Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger

Wendy’s

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.



Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey
202-527-7316
jeannem@pcrm.org

Related Link:
Cheap Eats for Hard Times: The Five Most Unhealthful Fast Food "Value Menu" Items

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