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NEWS RELEASE May 19, 2011

McDonald’s Oatmeal, Wendy’s Salad Among Five Worst “Healthy” Fast Foods

Dietitians’ Analysis Shows Items Packed with Sugar, Sodium, Fat, and Cholesterol

WASHINGTON—Some menu items marketed as “healthy” by national fast-food chains are packed with more fat, sodium, or sugar than anyone should eat in an entire day, a new study says. On a list of the five worst “healthy” fast-food items released by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine are Wendy’s Baja Salad with more sodium than most people should consume in an entire day and McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal with more calories than a hamburger and more sugar than many candy bars.

“Your health and your waistline will thank you for saying no to these so-called healthy foods,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Fast-food chains hope to cash in on consumer ignorance with labels like ‘fat-free’ and ‘low-calorie.’ But some of these foods contain more sugar, sodium, or fat than anyone should eat in an entire day, and eating them can increase your risk for obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.”

KFC’s grilled chicken, marketed to health-conscious consumers as a “better-for-you” alternative to the chain’s high-fat fried chicken, contains a carcinogen called PhIP that has been shown to increase the risk of breast cancer and other cancers.

The five worst “healthy” fast food items are:

Five Worst “Healthy” Fast-Food Items

Nutritional Shocker

Wendy’s Baja Salad

1,990 milligrams of sodium—more than most people should consume in an entire day.

McDonald’s Fruit & Maple Oatmeal

More sugar than a Snickers Bar.

Subway Fresh Fit 6” Turkey Breast Sub

With standards such as cheese and mayo, this “low-fat” sandwich jumps to 24 grams of fat. Contains processed meat, which is linked to increased cancer risk.

Sonic Strawberry Smoothie

More sugar than five Twinkies.

KFC Kentucky Grilled Chicken

Contains PhIP, a chemical classified as a carcinogen by the federal government.

To speak with Susan Levin, contact Vaishali Honawar at 202-527-7339 or

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:
Vaishali Honawar

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