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Quiz: Test Your Fast Food Smarts

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Which savory sub packs nearly 2,000 calories between its buns?

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Which savory sub packs nearly 2,000 calories between its buns?

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Chipotle jack cheese, mayonnaise, and guacamole may make that tuna mayo sandwich taste like a dream, but the calorie count  -- nearly 1,900 -- is enough calories for three meals.  A better option: Go for a regular-sized Quiznos turkey breast on wheat, with mozzarella and fat-free balsamic for a more manageable 510 calories.

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How many of us guzzle sugary drinks daily?

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How many of us guzzle sugary drinks daily?

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The ultimate in empty calories, most of us don't realize the diet damage we're doing when we grab that extra large cola or fruit drink. A 40-ounce root beer, orange drink, or cola can weigh in at 400 calories or more -- as much as some fast food sandwiches. Switch to smaller drinks, diet drinks, water, or unsweetened tea to help tame the calorie count in your next fast food meal.

This fast food nibble contains about a day's worth of fat calories.

This fast food nibble contains about a day's worth of fat calories.

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About a third of your daily calories -- that's about 675 calories for a 150-pound woman -- should come from good-for-you unsaturated fats -- like those in salmon, tuna, walnuts and avocados. 


Those White Castle chicken rings may taste great, but they pack 790 calories, 640 of them from fat. Of course, you'd do best to avoid fried fast food. But if you simply must have something crunchy and fried, at least go for White Castle's small onion rings at 210 calories, 120 from fat.  

About how many Americans eat fast food every day?

About how many Americans eat fast food every day?

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As Americans, we've let fast food chains turn into our home kitchen, and our fondness for french fries, giant subs, and supersized drinks isn't doing our waistlines any good. Nearly one in every two Americans is overweight or obese, and if the trend continues, we could be spending as much as $957 billion on obesity-related issues by 2030.

This meaty salad has more than a day's worth of sodium and fat.

This meaty salad has more than a day's worth of sodium and fat.

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It may be called a salad, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's good for you. With 109 grams of fat and 2,710 mg of sodium, these grande fast food greens aren't so great. A well-balanced 2,000-calorie-a-day diet should include about 65 grams of good-for-you fats, and 2,300 mg of sodium (1,500 mg for people over 50).

Just say no to that "bigger is better" fast food meal and save:

Just say no to that "bigger is better" fast food meal and save:

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Think small and you could more than halve the calorie count of your next fast food feed. Savor a super-sized meal at McDonald's and that drink, fries, and burger can set you back 1,350 calories. You can cut that in half by ordering a small beverage, fries, and burger instead for a slimmer 630-calorie count -- not exactly healthy, but a lot better than before. Get a diet drink or water and you'll shave off 150 more.

Which Starbucks breakfast treat sets you back 350 calories?

Which Starbucks breakfast treat sets you back 350 calories?

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  • Correct Answer:

Muffins aren’t always the healthiest choice. Of these three, the bacon & gouda sandwich is the low-cal star of this lineup at 350 calories. It beats the zucchini walnut muffin – which is 490. The sausage & cheddar has 500 calories. No matter which you choose, all three should be seen as a once-in-a-while indulgence, not a diet staple.

To burn off an order of medium fries, a 155-pound adult needs to:

To burn off an order of medium fries, a 155-pound adult needs to:

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Grabbed an order of fries on your way home from work? Well, to kick those 400 deep-fried calories to the curb when you get home, you'll need to ride a stationary bike hard for about 30 minutes. That will burn about 391 calories. Thirty minutes of aerobics will burn 260 calories, while strength training will take care of 224 calories.

Which has the most sodium?

Which has the most sodium?

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Surprised that the sweet beverage contains more sodium than the order of fries? Well here's another shocker: It contains twice as much. A large order of McDonald's fries has 350 mg of sodium, while the Frosty contains 700 mg. The hamburger? It meets them in the middle at about 530 mg of sodium.

Today we use how much more corn sweetener than we did in 1950?

Today we use how much more corn sweetener than we did in 1950?

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We've grown so sweet on corn sweeteners that between 1950 and 2000 our consumption grew from 11 pounds per person to more than 85 pounds! Part of that boost may be stealth sweeteners turning up in everything from pizza, hot dogs, and bread to canned vegetables, peanut butter, soup, and rice mixes.

Topping your sub? This "baddie" is best if you're counting calories.

Topping your sub? This "baddie" is best if you're counting calories.

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If you're topping your Subway sandwich with something indulgent but still want to keep calories in check, the surprise here is the bacon. Two strips have 40 calories, while two rectangles of cheese have 50 calories, and a tablespoon of mayo 110 calories.

On average, a teen will grab a fast food meal that has:

On average, a teen will grab a fast food meal that has:

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And that could be nearly half a day's calories, depending on age and activity level. Teenagers -- those 13 to 17 -- tend to indulge in calorie-dense meals when they grab fast food, which can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Americans spend this much on fast food every year:

Americans spend this much on fast food every year:

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We love our burgers and subs so much we spend about $110 billion annually on them. That's more than our yearly spending on movies, books, music, and newspapers combined.

In the U.S., we've amped up our meat eating by how much since 1950?

In the U.S., we've amped up our meat eating by how much since 1950?

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Americans like their meat. In 50 years we've gone from eating about 138 pounds per person per year to more than 195 pounds each, with most of the meaty boost coming from a spike in chicken and turkey consumption.

Which grab-and-go Chick-fil-A breakfast is lowest in calories?

Which grab-and-go Chick-fil-A breakfast is lowest in calories?

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Actually, all of these breakfast items are pretty trim in calories -- all are 300 or below. The yogurt parfait with cookie crumbs packs the most protein and the least fat, and comes in at 240 calories. One caveat: It's really high in sugar, with 36 grams. So you should cut back on sugar in later meals if you indulge early in the day.

About how many pounds of fats and oils do most of us eat a year?

About how many pounds of fats and oils do most of us eat a year?

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We haven't quite doubled our consumption of fats since 1950, but we're not far off either. Our average consumption then was nearly 45 pounds, while 50 years later we were consuming 75 pounds. The biggest change has been a more than tripling of our use of salad and cooking oils.

Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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Great work! You've got the skinny on fast food for sure!

Good job, but watch out for all the hidden calories, fat, and salt.

Careful! Fast food may have you fooled. Read up and take another crack at this quiz.

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