Obesity and the effects of choice at a fast food restaurant

Emily Brindal, Philip Mohr, Carlene Wilson, Gary Wittert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Fast food is often mentioned when investigating the obesity epidemic. While many health professionals generally perceive of fast foods as 'bad', a new perspective of manageable fast food consumption has been suggested. The macronutrient content of traditional fast food meals and healthier choices from six of the dominant fast food chains in Australia were calculated to determine the nutritional outcomes of a fast food meal. On average, a traditional fast food meal accounted for 47.47% of an 8400 kJ daily guideline. Total fat, however, accounted for between 47.08% and 93.48% of a daily guideline. The healthier choices were lower in overall kilojoule (kJ) and total fat. Fast food is increasingly becoming part of our eating patterns. Traditional fast food meals are indeed energy dense. In terms of kilojoule intake alone, a traditional fast food meal can be incorporated reasonably into a daily intake without necessarily promoting obesity. Health professionals should educate consumers of the simple 'healthy' choices they can make when eating fast food.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalObesity Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Jul 2008


  • Energy balance
  • Fast food
  • Nutritional composition
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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