Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Fast-food nutrition baffles consumers

The quiz is frightening. I got 2 right, out of sheer luck.

Here's the scoop: "The poll asked 523 registered voters to answer four seemingly simple questions: Pick out the dishes with the most calories, the fewest calories, the least salt and the most fat from among menu items from Denny's, Chili's, Romano's Macaroni Grill and McDonald's...By any measure, the respondents flunked. Two-thirds answered all four questions wrong. And no one -- not one single person -- got all four right."

Why: Public health advocates want a bill that requires chain restaurants to publish nutritional data on menus, so that we can make more informed choices.

Here's the quiz from the article:

Fast food nutrition quiz
A new poll by Field Research Corp. asked Californians to identify the low-calorie, low-salt, high-fat and high-calorie menu items from a list of four choices. Of the people surveyed, 68 percent failed every question, and no more than 11.2 percent got any one question correct.
Number in parentheses that follows each possible answer is the percentage of survey respondents who selected that food item:

1. Which of the following breakfast items that are served at Denny's do you think has the fewest calories?
A. Ham and cheddar omelet (36.2)
B. Country fried steak and eggs (11)
C. Three slices of French toast with syrup and margarine (14.7)
D. Three pancakes with syrup and margarine (28.5)

2. Which of the following items that are served at Chili's do you think has the least salt?
A. Cajun chicken sandwich (6.6)
B. Classic combo steak and chicken fajitas (7.6)
C. Guiltless chicken platter (24.9)
D. Smoked turkey sandwich (51.5)

3. Which of the following items that are served at Romano's Macaroni Grill do you think has the most fat?
A. Traditional lasagna (35)
B. Chicken Caesar salad (10.1)
C. Pasta classico with sausage and peppers (21.8)
D. Barbecue chicken pizza (26.2)

4. Which of the following items that are served at McDonald's do you think has the most calories?
A. Two Big Macs (53)
B. Two Egg McMuffins (8.4)
C. One large chocolate shake (11.2)
D. Four regular hamburgers (22.1)

Answers: 1 (B) Country fried steak and eggs (464 calories); 2 (A) Cajun chicken sandwich (2,220 mg. sodium); 3 (B) Chicken Caesar salad (69 grams fat); 4 (C) One large chocolate shake (1,160 calories)
Note: Results of telephone interviews completed March 20-31 among 523 registered voters in California, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
Numbers do not add up to 100 because "don't know" responses are not shown.
Source: California Center for Public Health Advocacy

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