Plastic Food

Call it fast food, snack food or even junk food – most people love it! Here are some interesting factoids about junk food.

In the USA the manufactured foods industry spends more than $33 billion a year to advertise products that are mostly loaded with fat, salt and sugar. Of that, $12 billion a year is spent on marketing to youth.

According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, children aged 8 to 12 viewed an average of 21 food adverts a day. Of those, 34% were for candy or snacks, 28% for cereal and 10% for fast food. None were for fruits or vegetables.

The American National Cancer Institute spends $1 million per year to encourage people to eat fruits and vegetables.

According to the Canadian Paediatric Society, most food advertising on children’s TV shows is for fast foods, soft drinks, candy and pre-sweetened cereals – while commercials for healthful food make up only 4%.

Unhealthful foods make up much of web advertising too. The Kaiser Family Foundation studied 77 Web sites promoting food products to children and found that over three months they received more than 12 million visits from children aged 2 to 11.

Each month, more than 90 per cent of the children in the USA eat at McDonald’s.

During the last 25 years, researchers have observed an increase in fast-food commercials during children’s television programming, with many of these commercials emphasizing larger portions.

During the 1950s, the typical soft drink order at a fast food restaurant was eight ounces of soda. Today, a “child” order of Coke at McDonald’s is twelve ounces, and a large Coke is thirty-two ounces.

Fast food companies make greater profits on soft drinks than on the food products.

In 2008 Americans spent over $64 billion on soft drinks.

Twelve to nineteen year old boys drink an average of 868 cans of soda each year. Girls drink about one fourth less, about 651 cans.

A super sized order of McDonald’s fries contains 610 calories and 29 grams of fat. Other brands aren’t much better: a king-sized order of Burger King’s fries includes 590 calories and 30 grams of fat.

Per ounce, Chicken McNuggets contain twice as much fat as hamburger.

The American artificial flavour industry – the industry that is responsible for the great taste of much of the snack food we consumeĀ  has annual revenues of approximately $1.6 billion.

And speaking of artificial flavouring – a typical strawberry milkshake contains approximately fifty artificial ingredients to create that great “strawberry” taste!

(Chef Phillius is proud to declare he has only ever eaten one McDonalds burger – and was disgusted!)

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