Friday, March 4, 2011

Don't Supersize Me--What Your Money Gets You In Calories

I'm not a big fan of either fast food or junk food, but I realize that many people either just plain old like a good McDonald's burger or candy bar now and again, or else really have no other choices on days when they're particularly pressed for time.

So as pointed it in this article, if you're going to indulge, then save yourself a few pennies and DON'T supersize:

Now, most people supersize for what they think is a good reason, you get a hell of a lot of food for very little extra money. Here's what the article had to say about supersizing:

Sure, it feels like you’re getting a bargain because you’re getting proportionately more food for proportionately less money. But a “value meal” is only a value for two sets of people: the corporations that make the food and the corporations that make liposuction machines and heart stents. Because food is so inexpensive for manufacturers to produce on a large scale, your average fast-food emporium makes a hefty profit whenever you supersize your meal—even though you’re getting an average of 73 percent more calories for only 17 percent more money. But you’re not actually buying more nutrients; you’re just buying more calories. And that’s not something you want more of.

I know this mentality. I've seen it. My old Nanny, a young girl in her 20's weighs close to 250 pounds. She comes from a rather poor back-ground, but often "supersizes" food because she believes she's getting a better bargain food-wise. Her whole family does the same thing. The result is that they are all quite heavy (actually obese), and both parents have diabetes. My old Nanny even has problems with menstruation because she's so heavy.

My husband also has a friend who's a super-sizer. He weighs in at over 300 pounds, and justifies the purchases for the same reason-he doesn't have a lot of money, and it's cheap food.

But, it's not cheap. It's costing them their health.

To get some perspective, here's what the article had to say about the true costs of "supersizing:"

Here’s exactly how expensive it really is when you go for the “bargain”:

• 7-Eleven. Gulp to Double Gulp Coca-Cola Classic: 37 cents extra buys 450 more calories
• Cinnabon. Minibon to Classic Cinnabon: 48 more cents buys 370 more calories
• Movie theater. Small to medium unbuttered popcorn: 71 additional cents buys you 500 more calories
• Convenience store. Regular to “The Big One” Snickers: 33 more cents packs on 230 more calories
• McDonald’s. Quarter Pounder with Cheese to Medium Quarter Pounder with Cheese Extra Value Meal: An additional $1.41 gets you 660 more calories
• Subway. The 6- to 12-inch Tuna Sub: $1.53 more buys 420 more calories
• Wendy’s. Classic Double with Cheese to Classic Double with Cheese Old Fashioned Combo Meal: $1.57 extra buys you 600 more calories
• Baskin Robbins. Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Kids’ Scoop, to Double Scoop: For another $1.62, you’ve added 390 calories

The bottom line: For 8 bucks, you’ve bought yourself 3,620 calories. If you eat each of these foods once a week but go with the smaller size—again, your favorite foods, but more reasonable sizes—you’d save about $417 a year. That's enough to put you on a plane to the Bahamas, where you can show off your new body. After all, you’d also save 188,240 calories a year, or 54 pounds of belly fat! I can think of no better investment.

I don't know about that plane to the Bahamas (and besides, even if you could get round-trip airfare for $417 where are you going to sleep?), but it does point out that not only do you, in the end, save money, but the calories saved will pay off in the longer term as well.

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