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Fast food and obesity

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Replies

  • gkingbr
    gkingbr Posts: 292 Member
    People love to blame everyone but themselves for their obesity. *shrug*

    so true
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    I wish education was the answer, but I really don't think it is (although I'm all for education pretty much always).

    I don't think people are unaware of what's high cal for the most part (I mean, some might not realize that avocados are or some such, but I doubt they are gaining weight due to excessive avocado consumption). In fast food places and other quick serve places around here calories are posted (this will be the case everywhere in the US soon) and people just ignore it. I also think most people do understand that calories matter -- the stuff about "eating healthy" is that they assume (sometimes correctly, sometimes not so much) that "healthy" foods have fewer calories and they don't want to have to track. And it's not wrong -- if you eat lots of fast food (the higher cal options) and don't track calories or eat lots of sweets between meals (same), cutting back is going to reduce calories for most.

    I do think the bigger issue is the tradeoff -- many people don't want to make the tradeoff to lose or assume it would be a bigger tradeoff than it is. That's not because they lack the capacity to figure out what they need to do to lose weight, but because they do so. And education doesn't make it so you don't have to still figure out what you are eating (calories, portions, whatever) and what you need to be eating to lose, however you do it.
  • Packerjohn
    Packerjohn Posts: 4,855 Member
    richln wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?

    'good' or not is a different matter, but eating mcdonalds doesn't make someone obese... eating too many calories does.


    Understand, that was why my example was of a 1500 calorie + lunch. A Big Mac, side salad (light on dressing) and Diet Coke not so bad. It's how much one eats. And I would be pretty sure most people know the 2 Big Mac lunch in my example is too much.

    so a long distance cyclist or runner who has burned a couple of thousand calories cant use those calories on McDonalds as a refuel...? 1500 cal lunch is not 'too much' for everyone.

    Most long distance runners or cyclists that burn a couple thousand calories in a workout have more respect for their bodies than to use a 1500+ calorie McDonalds meal to refuel on a regular basis.

    Except for the most elite runners and cyclists. They can't get enough McDonalds.
    http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/mcdonald-places-food-order-limit-olympic-village.html
    Maybe that is what helped them get to the elite level?

    Lol. I'm pretty sure McDonalds isn't a training table staple for elite athletes

    Maybe an occasional indulgence.
  • leajas1
    leajas1 Posts: 823 Member
    The Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy's is my go-to.
  • selina884
    selina884 Posts: 826 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?



    No need to apologise but Steff46 summed it up in her way.
    People arent taught about nutrition in schools and it's not emphasised much on TV unless theres some sort of agenda.

    I know plenty of people who know absolutely zilch about calories.
    I know people who think weight loss ONLY comes from eating salads and other "natural" foods.

    ..but countries like America who have a big consumer market dedicated to junk/high calorie food at a low cost, do you blame the poor everyday person for knowing any different?

    I mean your national dish is Hamburgers. 'nuff said. (and I think you have a few other national dishes too)

    Low income commoners in America know that eating lots of rich, delicious high calorie food causes weight gain. They know. They know fast food, including McDonald's, is rich, high calorie food that facilitates weight gain if eaten with wild abandon.

    If low income commoners tend to be fatter, both in the U.S. and the U.K., it's not because they're poor fools, victims of a lack of educational opportunities or because they can't afford to buy a bag of apples, a sack of rice, a box of frozen string beans and a raw, whole, chicken. It's because they collectively take their pleasure in easy access food and they're often fine with that. Perhaps moreso than the folks who live in gentrified neighborhoods and have more disposable income to indulge in higher end pleasures.

    Hamburgers are ground beef stuffed in a bread roll. Calorically they start at about 400 each. I believe the British dish, fish and chips, packs a much harder punch calorically.

    Oh you interpreted poor in terms of wealth.
    Whereas I was showing some empathy towards specifically targeted people.

    It's interesting how a single word can completely change the context of a sentence.

    The national dish for UK is now embarassingly Chiken Tikka Masala.
    Your fast food hamburger is and never has been around the 400cal mark in the fast food industry. BTW burgers are my utmost favorite dish.

    Anyway, I also agree with your point too but all of this is anecdotal and Im sure there are people who have the attitude you are describing, as well those that @lemurcat12 is describing and those that I have described.

    However Im still inclined to believe that junk food IS shoved in our faces through advertising (its a business, thats what they do) and there are still people out there with very little idea on calorie requirements. Couple those 2 together and it's a bad combo.

    I am also not taking away blame from individuals, not at all but I do think their decisions are generally affected by their environmental and cultural factors.
  • selina884
    selina884 Posts: 826 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    richln wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?

    'good' or not is a different matter, but eating mcdonalds doesn't make someone obese... eating too many calories does.


    Understand, that was why my example was of a 1500 calorie + lunch. A Big Mac, side salad (light on dressing) and Diet Coke not so bad. It's how much one eats. And I would be pretty sure most people know the 2 Big Mac lunch in my example is too much.

    so a long distance cyclist or runner who has burned a couple of thousand calories cant use those calories on McDonalds as a refuel...? 1500 cal lunch is not 'too much' for everyone.

    Most long distance runners or cyclists that burn a couple thousand calories in a workout have more respect for their bodies than to use a 1500+ calorie McDonalds meal to refuel on a regular basis.

    Except for the most elite runners and cyclists. They can't get enough McDonalds.
    http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/mcdonald-places-food-order-limit-olympic-village.html
    Maybe that is what helped them get to the elite level?

    Lol. I'm pretty sure McDonalds isn't a training table staple for elite athletes

    Maybe an occasional indulgence.

    lol true.
  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
    newmeadow wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?



    No need to apologise but Steff46 summed it up in her way.
    People arent taught about nutrition in schools and it's not emphasised much on TV unless theres some sort of agenda.

    I know plenty of people who know absolutely zilch about calories.
    I know people who think weight loss ONLY comes from eating salads and other "natural" foods.

    ..but countries like America who have a big consumer market dedicated to junk/high calorie food at a low cost, do you blame the poor everyday person for knowing any different?

    I mean your national dish is Hamburgers. 'nuff said. (and I think you have a few other national dishes too)

    Low income commoners in America know that eating lots of rich, delicious high calorie food causes weight gain. They know. They know fast food, including McDonald's, is rich, high calorie food that facilitates weight gain if eaten with wild abandon.

    If low income commoners tend to be fatter, both in the U.S. and the U.K., it's not because they're poor fools, victims of a lack of educational opportunities or because they can't afford to buy a bag of apples, a sack of rice, a box of frozen string beans and a raw, whole, chicken. It's because they collectively take their pleasure in easy access food and they're often fine with that. Perhaps moreso than the folks who live in gentrified neighborhoods and have more disposable income to indulge in higher end pleasures.

    Exactly.
    Hamburgers are ground beef stuffed in a bread roll. Calorically they start at about 400 each. I believe the British dish, fish and chips, packs a much harder punch calorically.

    Of course, we have both.

    But yeah, I'm not sure why a hamburger is being called out as a high cal food. I make them from time to time (I more often skip the bun because I prefer potatoes), and they are about 150 calories (24 g protein) for 4 oz raw of 95% lean ground beef. Add a bun (wide range of them--I pulled up a whole wheat one for 120 calories), and you have 270 calories. Add some vegetables, and mustard and pickles and onion for the burger (my preference unless I use giardiniera) and that's a pretty low cal and delicious meal.

    I'm sure the answer will be that when people think burgers they think fast food, but that's not my experience. Sure, people (on average) eat fast food burgers and burgers at local pubs and restaurants (my sister tends to order a burger when I get fish and chips if we go to that kind of place together, and even then she is probably eating fewer calories), but it's just not true that the homemade one isn't what people think of. When I think of classic American burger I think of grilling it out, and those burgers usually aren't high cal (and won't come with fries, although sure you will have some potato salad and other more caloric sides and desserts, because cookout).

    When I was a kid a special treat would be my dad grilling burgers. (Also fish, as he liked to fish and so did many of his friends, so we always had lots of fish, and also steak sometimes.) I don't think any of these were especially higher cal than our normal meals.
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,859 Member
    Do you blame the customers or blame the business?
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    lemurcat12 wrote: »
    I wish education was the answer, but I really don't think it is (although I'm all for education pretty much always).

    I don't think people are unaware of what's high cal for the most part (I mean, some might not realize that avocados are or some such, but I doubt they are gaining weight due to excessive avocado consumption). In fast food places and other quick serve places around here calories are posted (this will be the case everywhere in the US soon) and people just ignore it. I also think most people do understand that calories matter -- the stuff about "eating healthy" is that they assume (sometimes correctly, sometimes not so much) that "healthy" foods have fewer calories and they don't want to have to track. And it's not wrong -- if you eat lots of fast food (the higher cal options) and don't track calories or eat lots of sweets between meals (same), cutting back is going to reduce calories for most.

    I do think the bigger issue is the tradeoff -- many people don't want to make the tradeoff to lose or assume it would be a bigger tradeoff than it is. That's not because they lack the capacity to figure out what they need to do to lose weight, but because they do so. And education doesn't make it so you don't have to still figure out what you are eating (calories, portions, whatever) and what you need to be eating to lose, however you do it.

    I think these are all good points but what I think is missing in the mandate for chain restaurants to post calorie counts is that those calorie counts don't mean much without the consumer having context, understanding what their maintenance calories are and how a 400 calorie burger from McDonalds will impact their weight management process. They have no idea if that is a lot or a little if they don't know that their TDEE is 2200 cals for example... That's the "education" that I think is missing and could be helpful for folks.
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    selina884 wrote: »
    newmeadow wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?



    No need to apologise but Steff46 summed it up in her way.
    People arent taught about nutrition in schools and it's not emphasised much on TV unless theres some sort of agenda.

    I know plenty of people who know absolutely zilch about calories.
    I know people who think weight loss ONLY comes from eating salads and other "natural" foods.

    ..but countries like America who have a big consumer market dedicated to junk/high calorie food at a low cost, do you blame the poor everyday person for knowing any different?

    I mean your national dish is Hamburgers. 'nuff said. (and I think you have a few other national dishes too)

    Low income commoners in America know that eating lots of rich, delicious high calorie food causes weight gain. They know. They know fast food, including McDonald's, is rich, high calorie food that facilitates weight gain if eaten with wild abandon.

    If low income commoners tend to be fatter, both in the U.S. and the U.K., it's not because they're poor fools, victims of a lack of educational opportunities or because they can't afford to buy a bag of apples, a sack of rice, a box of frozen string beans and a raw, whole, chicken. It's because they collectively take their pleasure in easy access food and they're often fine with that. Perhaps moreso than the folks who live in gentrified neighborhoods and have more disposable income to indulge in higher end pleasures.

    Hamburgers are ground beef stuffed in a bread roll. Calorically they start at about 400 each. I believe the British dish, fish and chips, packs a much harder punch calorically.

    Oh you interpreted poor in terms of wealth.
    Whereas I was showing some empathy towards specifically targeted people.

    It's interesting how a single word can completely change the context of a sentence.

    The national dish for UK is now embarassingly Chiken Tikka Masala.
    Your fast food hamburger is and never has been around the 400cal mark in the fast food industry. BTW burgers are my utmost favorite dish.


    Anyway, I also agree with your point too but all of this is anecdotal and Im sure there are people who have the attitude you are describing, as well those that @lemurcat12 is describing and those that I have described.

    However Im still inclined to believe that junk food IS shoved in our faces through advertising (its a business, thats what they do) and there are still people out there with very little idea on calorie requirements. Couple those 2 together and it's a bad combo.

    I am also not taking away blame from individuals, not at all but I do think their decisions are generally affected by their environmental and cultural factors.

    What is this "national dish" you keep referring to? Who designated a hamburger as the US National Dish, whatever that means? Also, the burger I typically get at McDonalds (McDouble with cheese) is absolutely right around 400 calories. The ones I make at home are similar.
  • richln
    richln Posts: 809 Member
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    richln wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?

    'good' or not is a different matter, but eating mcdonalds doesn't make someone obese... eating too many calories does.


    Understand, that was why my example was of a 1500 calorie + lunch. A Big Mac, side salad (light on dressing) and Diet Coke not so bad. It's how much one eats. And I would be pretty sure most people know the 2 Big Mac lunch in my example is too much.

    so a long distance cyclist or runner who has burned a couple of thousand calories cant use those calories on McDonalds as a refuel...? 1500 cal lunch is not 'too much' for everyone.

    Most long distance runners or cyclists that burn a couple thousand calories in a workout have more respect for their bodies than to use a 1500+ calorie McDonalds meal to refuel on a regular basis.

    Except for the most elite runners and cyclists. They can't get enough McDonalds.
    http://olympics.cbc.ca/news/article/mcdonald-places-food-order-limit-olympic-village.html
    Maybe that is what helped them get to the elite level?

    Lol. I'm pretty sure McDonalds isn't a training table staple for elite athletes

    Maybe an occasional indulgence.

    Actually it is fairly common for the athletes with high calorie burns:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/29/sports/olympics/why-some-olympic-athletes-need-to-gorge.html?_r=0
    I have been up to 6000 calories per day before. It is nearly impossible to eat that much every day if you are eating "clean."
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
    Hm, considering the hamburger is German in origin, that surprises me. And honestly, I'd think the more common associate is for uniquely American items, like apple pie.

    Wiki tells me the national food in the US includes hamburgers, hot dogs, apple pie, fried chicken, buffalo wings, and mac and cheese.

    Those 9 year olds know what's up.

    Although I was surprised to see mac and cheese on pretty much every menu I saw in Scotland. I guess it's an easy vegetarian option?
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    newmeadow wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?



    No need to apologise but Steff46 summed it up in her way.
    People arent taught about nutrition in schools and it's not emphasised much on TV unless theres some sort of agenda.

    I know plenty of people who know absolutely zilch about calories.
    I know people who think weight loss ONLY comes from eating salads and other "natural" foods.

    ..but countries like America who have a big consumer market dedicated to junk/high calorie food at a low cost, do you blame the poor everyday person for knowing any different?

    I mean your national dish is Hamburgers. 'nuff said. (and I think you have a few other national dishes too)

    Low income commoners in America know that eating lots of rich, delicious high calorie food causes weight gain. They know. They know fast food, including McDonald's, is rich, high calorie food that facilitates weight gain if eaten with wild abandon.

    If low income commoners tend to be fatter, both in the U.S. and the U.K., it's not because they're poor fools, victims of a lack of educational opportunities or because they can't afford to buy a bag of apples, a sack of rice, a box of frozen string beans and a raw, whole, chicken. It's because they collectively take their pleasure in easy access food and they're often fine with that. Perhaps moreso than the folks who live in gentrified neighborhoods and have more disposable income to indulge in higher end pleasures.

    Hamburgers are ground beef stuffed in a bread roll. Calorically they start at about 400 each. I believe the British dish, fish and chips, packs a much harder punch calorically.

    Oh you interpreted poor in terms of wealth.
    Whereas I was showing some empathy towards specifically targeted people.

    It's interesting how a single word can completely change the context of a sentence.

    The national dish for UK is now embarassingly Chiken Tikka Masala.
    Your fast food hamburger is and never has been around the 400cal mark in the fast food industry. BTW burgers are my utmost favorite dish.


    Anyway, I also agree with your point too but all of this is anecdotal and Im sure there are people who have the attitude you are describing, as well those that @lemurcat12 is describing and those that I have described.

    However Im still inclined to believe that junk food IS shoved in our faces through advertising (its a business, thats what they do) and there are still people out there with very little idea on calorie requirements. Couple those 2 together and it's a bad combo.

    I am also not taking away blame from individuals, not at all but I do think their decisions are generally affected by their environmental and cultural factors.

    What is this "national dish" you keep referring to? Who designated a hamburger as the US National Dish, whatever that means? Also, the burger I typically get at McDonalds (McDouble with cheese) is absolutely right around 400 calories. The ones I make at home are similar.

    You will probably say it is biased but - http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/national-food-dishes/ - Nothing wrong with having a Burger as your national dish, part of US Culture I would have though. We just call it a Double Cheeseburger I think - we don't have McDouble

    I'm not sure why you think I would say national geographic is biased? I was curious the source, and while this one does say the US choice is the hamburger, it must not be the same source as the poster I quoted was referring to as she said UK is Tikka Masala and this indicates Yorkshire pudding.

    I'm not challenging that burger is the wrong choice, I'm just wondering who made that designation and where the info came from.
  • auddii
    auddii Posts: 15,357 Member
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    newmeadow wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?



    No need to apologise but Steff46 summed it up in her way.
    People arent taught about nutrition in schools and it's not emphasised much on TV unless theres some sort of agenda.

    I know plenty of people who know absolutely zilch about calories.
    I know people who think weight loss ONLY comes from eating salads and other "natural" foods.

    ..but countries like America who have a big consumer market dedicated to junk/high calorie food at a low cost, do you blame the poor everyday person for knowing any different?

    I mean your national dish is Hamburgers. 'nuff said. (and I think you have a few other national dishes too)

    Low income commoners in America know that eating lots of rich, delicious high calorie food causes weight gain. They know. They know fast food, including McDonald's, is rich, high calorie food that facilitates weight gain if eaten with wild abandon.

    If low income commoners tend to be fatter, both in the U.S. and the U.K., it's not because they're poor fools, victims of a lack of educational opportunities or because they can't afford to buy a bag of apples, a sack of rice, a box of frozen string beans and a raw, whole, chicken. It's because they collectively take their pleasure in easy access food and they're often fine with that. Perhaps moreso than the folks who live in gentrified neighborhoods and have more disposable income to indulge in higher end pleasures.

    Hamburgers are ground beef stuffed in a bread roll. Calorically they start at about 400 each. I believe the British dish, fish and chips, packs a much harder punch calorically.

    Oh you interpreted poor in terms of wealth.
    Whereas I was showing some empathy towards specifically targeted people.

    It's interesting how a single word can completely change the context of a sentence.

    The national dish for UK is now embarassingly Chiken Tikka Masala.
    Your fast food hamburger is and never has been around the 400cal mark in the fast food industry. BTW burgers are my utmost favorite dish.


    Anyway, I also agree with your point too but all of this is anecdotal and Im sure there are people who have the attitude you are describing, as well those that @lemurcat12 is describing and those that I have described.

    However Im still inclined to believe that junk food IS shoved in our faces through advertising (its a business, thats what they do) and there are still people out there with very little idea on calorie requirements. Couple those 2 together and it's a bad combo.

    I am also not taking away blame from individuals, not at all but I do think their decisions are generally affected by their environmental and cultural factors.

    What is this "national dish" you keep referring to? Who designated a hamburger as the US National Dish, whatever that means? Also, the burger I typically get at McDonalds (McDouble with cheese) is absolutely right around 400 calories. The ones I make at home are similar.

    You will probably say it is biased but - http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/national-food-dishes/ - Nothing wrong with having a Burger as your national dish, part of US Culture I would have though. We just call it a Double Cheeseburger I think - we don't have McDouble

    I'm not sure why you think I would say national geographic is biased? I was curious the source, and while this one does say the US choice is the hamburger, it must not be the same source as the poster I quoted was referring to as she said UK is Tikka Masala and this indicates Yorkshire pudding.

    I'm not challenging that burger is the wrong choice, I'm just wondering who made that designation and where the info came from.

    Which is funny since I've always heard that before tikka masala, it was fish and chips.
  • WinoGelato
    WinoGelato Posts: 13,456 Member
    auddii wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    Jakep2323 wrote: »
    WinoGelato wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    newmeadow wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    Packerjohn wrote: »
    selina884 wrote: »
    it's a lack of education if anything.

    I'm sorry, but does anyone really think eating a couple Big Macs, giant order of fries and a giant Coke at lunch is good for them?



    No need to apologise but Steff46 summed it up in her way.
    People arent taught about nutrition in schools and it's not emphasised much on TV unless theres some sort of agenda.

    I know plenty of people who know absolutely zilch about calories.
    I know people who think weight loss ONLY comes from eating salads and other "natural" foods.

    ..but countries like America who have a big consumer market dedicated to junk/high calorie food at a low cost, do you blame the poor everyday person for knowing any different?

    I mean your national dish is Hamburgers. 'nuff said. (and I think you have a few other national dishes too)

    Low income commoners in America know that eating lots of rich, delicious high calorie food causes weight gain. They know. They know fast food, including McDonald's, is rich, high calorie food that facilitates weight gain if eaten with wild abandon.

    If low income commoners tend to be fatter, both in the U.S. and the U.K., it's not because they're poor fools, victims of a lack of educational opportunities or because they can't afford to buy a bag of apples, a sack of rice, a box of frozen string beans and a raw, whole, chicken. It's because they collectively take their pleasure in easy access food and they're often fine with that. Perhaps moreso than the folks who live in gentrified neighborhoods and have more disposable income to indulge in higher end pleasures.

    Hamburgers are ground beef stuffed in a bread roll. Calorically they start at about 400 each. I believe the British dish, fish and chips, packs a much harder punch calorically.

    Oh you interpreted poor in terms of wealth.
    Whereas I was showing some empathy towards specifically targeted people.

    It's interesting how a single word can completely change the context of a sentence.

    The national dish for UK is now embarassingly Chiken Tikka Masala.
    Your fast food hamburger is and never has been around the 400cal mark in the fast food industry. BTW burgers are my utmost favorite dish.


    Anyway, I also agree with your point too but all of this is anecdotal and Im sure there are people who have the attitude you are describing, as well those that @lemurcat12 is describing and those that I have described.

    However Im still inclined to believe that junk food IS shoved in our faces through advertising (its a business, thats what they do) and there are still people out there with very little idea on calorie requirements. Couple those 2 together and it's a bad combo.

    I am also not taking away blame from individuals, not at all but I do think their decisions are generally affected by their environmental and cultural factors.

    What is this "national dish" you keep referring to? Who designated a hamburger as the US National Dish, whatever that means? Also, the burger I typically get at McDonalds (McDouble with cheese) is absolutely right around 400 calories. The ones I make at home are similar.

    You will probably say it is biased but - http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/top-10/national-food-dishes/ - Nothing wrong with having a Burger as your national dish, part of US Culture I would have though. We just call it a Double Cheeseburger I think - we don't have McDouble

    I'm not sure why you think I would say national geographic is biased? I was curious the source, and while this one does say the US choice is the hamburger, it must not be the same source as the poster I quoted was referring to as she said UK is Tikka Masala and this indicates Yorkshire pudding.

    I'm not challenging that burger is the wrong choice, I'm just wondering who made that designation and where the info came from.

    Which is funny since I've always heard that before tikka masala, it was fish and chips.

    Which is why I'm wondering what the criteria for selecting this national dish are. Is it the food most commonly consumed by the citizens of that county? Is it a stereotype food? Something foreigners associate with that country? Is it a dish that originated there?