March 16, 2011

Today: Burger King’s $1 Stackers

We get it: Money’s tight and everybody loves a bargain. The Burger King Stackers currently in heavy promotional rotation are an incredible value. One buck buys a burger topped with two half-slices of bacon and a piece of American cheese. Keep adding dollars, keep adding beef patties. They're incredibly tempting, too, even for the nutrition-minded among us who may experience moments of weakness when no one’s looking.

As fast food burgers go, the single version isn’t so bad: 380 calories, 8g sat fat, and 700mg sodium. As the stacks mount, so do the anti-nutrients; pick the $3 Stacker, and you wind up with 650 calories, 18g sat fat (just 2g shy of the entire day's limit), and 1020mg sodium. There’s even an 800-calorie Quad version listed on BK’s downloadable nutrition chart.

You could always order the sensible 260-calorie basic burger BK sticks into kids’ meals, but you shouldn’t have to order from the children’s menu just to find something that could conceivably fit into a healthy diet.

Because you’re paying for the people who do. Last month, the CDC released a report that tallied the direct and indirect healthcare costs of the U.S. obesity epidemic at $147 billion dollars each year. Taxpayer supported Medicare and Medicaid spending on obesity-related health concerns is up from 6.5% in 1998 to 9.1%. That's a cost we're all paying, one dollar at a time.

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