I have a dirty little secret-- I'm a sucker for an Egg McMuffin. That would largely be a bit of theoretical data, since I'm rarely up and about during McD's breakfast hours, but my boss has recently scheduled a 9:30 meeting every Monday morning. That means I have to roll out of bed about two hours earlier than usual if I want to be on time. There happens to be a McDonalds across the street from the office. You can see where this is going.
So last Monday I stumbled in, and amused myself with the collection of humanity that is drawn to mickey doodles at 9:20 a.m. on a Monday. There was a woman about my size in line in front of me, and I got to overhear her order-- a two-burrito breakfast combo with a large orange juice, plus a sausage, egg and cheese McGriddle. I just assumed she was ordering for two people, and thought nothing of it. However, my McBreakfast was slow in arriving, so I got to watch her pick up the order, sit down, and start eating it all by herself. My portion size buttons got pushed.
Curiosity got the best of me, and I checked the nutrition information for the meal. Sausage breakfast burritos are 300 calories each, and the combo meal has two. Hash browns are 150. A large OJ is 250. So right here we're up to a thousand calories, or approximately half her daily caloric requirement. The McGriddle is another 560 calories, bringing us just over three fourths of her day's requirement.
The RDA for sodium in the US is a maximum of 2400mg. In the UK, it's 1600. This breakfast came in at 3340. And yes, I'm aware that an Egg McMuffin has 820mg of sodium. The fat content of her meal is pretty bad too-- I see 73 grams of fat, which is over the RDA maximum of 65.
I'll be the first to point out that I'm not the sanest, healthiest eater in the world-- I was in McDonalds too, after all. So yes, pots and kettles. Still, I try to be sane about portion sizes and pay at least a little bit of attention to what I eat. When I was done with my breakfast that day I'd consumed 450 calories, which is less than one third of the above-mentioned person. Maybe she knew what she was doing, and made a conscious decision to eat like that, but I'm guessing not.
Her behavior is far too common-- I see people order and eat like this all the time. How did we as a country wind up thinking that eating like this is normal?
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