10 Of The Most Unhealthy Fast-Food Restaurants In The US

By Elena Cortesi on March 16 2020 in Society

McDonald's is one of the most unhealthy fast-food restaurants. Photo by Sepet on Unsplash
McDonald's is one of the most unhealthy fast-food restaurants. Photo by Sepet on Unsplash
  • 18.5% of children ages 2-19 are classified as obese in the US.
  • A large Oreo Blizzard at Dairy Queen has 1140 calories and 44g of fat.
  • Excess calorie, fat, sodium and sugar content in fast food contributes to heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It has become increasingly apparent that obesity in the US is on the rise ... but why?  According to the Centers for Disease and Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 75% of the American population will be considered overweight and obese by the end of 2020. Out of this 75%, 18.5% will be obese children and young adults under the age of 19. One of the main contributing factors to these staggering statistics is excess calorie intake in the typical diet. Fast food restaurants are a major contributing factor to the food choices that are made. Although convenient in terms of availability and access, the food offered in the majority of fast-food restaurants usually costs very little for large portions of meals packed with unhealthy ingredients. Let's have a look at the most unhealthy of the fast-food restaurants we can put on our "please avoid" list.

10. Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A is very unhealthy. Photo by Brad Stallcup on Unsplash

There are over 2,200 Chick-fil-A restaurants across the US, and this Georgia-originating chain is "Home of the Original Chicken Sandwich."  The average dinner meal, including drink, is over 1,600 calories, which is more than the total calorie intake an average person should consume in an entire day! Do the math. You cannot possibly stay within the realm of healthy eating with these numbers.

9. Little Caesars

Little Caesars is affordable but unhealthy. Image credit: wikimedia.org

When ordering a signature pizza dish at Little Caesars, the only thing little about it is its price tag. You can get a pizza large enough to feed a family of 4 for $5. You have to ask yourself what kind of quality of ingredients (or lack thereof) are used to make this pizza. Customers often complain of the poor taste of the cheese and toppings; the perfect example of quantity vs. quality is found right here. 

8. Smashburger

Smashburger has over 370 locations across the US, but the food is unhealthy. Image credit: wikimedia.org

Smashburger has over 370 locations across the US and has more opening every year. This Denver-original offers its signature burger at over 830 calories before adding any toppings, a side dish, or drink.  You will be consuming over 55 grams of fat with the burger alone. Even the "healthy" choices have much to be desired as their salads with their dressings are over 530 calories. Let's move on.

7. McDonald's

A Big Mac combo with fries has over 55 grams of fat. Image credit: wikimedia.org

McDonald's is probably one of the most recognized of all the fast food chains worldwide with over 37,000 locations in over 69 countries.  I mean who doesn't love McDonald's fries? Well, it's no surprise that this chain made the unhealthy list after the release of Super Size Me. Conservatively, a Big Mac combo with fries has over 55 grams of fat and over 1400 calories. Definitely not on the acceptable healthy living list.

6. Quiznos

Quiznos sandwiches are packed with calories. Image credit: wikimedia.org

Surprisingly, the sandwiches at Quiznos are not as healthy as some may imagine.  The bread the sandwiches are made with is packed with calories and tons of sodium. The typical Quiznos sub has over 1,500 calories, which is an average allotment for some as daily calorie intake.  A Quiznos sub or three healthy meals ... you decide.

5. KFC

KFC chicken is filled with fat and cholesterol. Image credit: wikimedia.org

Although the chicken at KFC is "finger-lickin' good," the exact ingredient content of its "secret recipe" is just that .... a secret.  One thing that is not a secret is that the calorie count, fat, and cholesterol found in this famous chicken will not be a good choice when approaching bathing suit season. It will affect your waistline and your health so strike this one off your list.

4. Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen Blizzards are packed with sugar and fat. Image credit: wikimedia.org

A one-stop-shop for dinner and a treat, Dairy Queen has it all and more, and truth be told, the "more" is something you can definitely have less of. Having a meal and a large Oreo Blizzard as your dinner will likely put you over the 3,000 calorie mark. Packed with a minimum of 45 grams of fat per item, you will definitely not feel amazing neither physically or psychologically after leaving this joint. 

3. Taco Bell

Taco Bell food is filled with sodium and fat. Image credit: wikimedia.org

It is commonly said that a meal at Taco Bell will help with the relief of various bodily functions. That can't be good. Although there are lower-calorie items on the menu, the average single item has over 600 calories in it and is high in fat and sodium. A single item at Taco Bell is not substantial enough to comprise an entire meal, so think about doubling or tripling this figure, which will ultimately double or triple yours.

2. Sonic

Meals at Sonic are well over 2,000 calories. Image credit: wikimedia.org

The biggest appeal of Sonic is its ambiance since its menu selection is pretty typical as far as burger joints go. Your food is brought to you in your car which apparently has its charm. You would be averaging over 2,000 calories per meal if you have a double cheeseburger and onion rings. That meal at Sonic will definitely make you go 'BOOM." 

1. Wendy's

Most of the items on Wendy's menu are filled with fat. Photo by Batu Gezer on Unsplash

Wendy's like many fast-food franchises does make an attempt to offer healthy alternatives to its patrons. The truth remains that the majority of the menu at Wendy's will be on your "DO NOT EAT" list given to you by your nutritionist. A baconator combo, the most popular selection at Wendy's, will add 2,000 calories to your daily intake along with an excess of sodium and fat that your waistline will not forgive you for. You are what you eat, and you definitely do not want to be a baconator.

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