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  • Writer's pictureHeather

Supersize Or Not: Is It Really That Much More Unhealthy?

Here we sit with our car idling, in the drive-up line at our favorite fast-food restaurant. Do we want to upsize our order for just another 99 cents? We can get another sandwich for just a dollar more, how can we pass that up? We all like to get a deal, but is that great deal when we supersize our order bad for us? How much more unhealthy can it be?


Admit it, we have all been offered the opportunity to upsize our order. For just a little more money we get a whole lot more food. Why not take advantage of going from a medium drink to a large drink? We can get a large pizza for a medium price, let’s do it!


Years ago, it was impossible to get nutrition information from any food outlet. McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, every restaurant held that information in a vault with no key. It was thought if the public learned the awful nutrition in the food they were being sold, they would stop buying the food.


Suddenly, almost overnight, every restaurant in the country started openly posting the nutrition values, or lack thereof, for every item on the menu. It would be safe to assume the fast-food joints were forced to give out this information. The truth is, the fast-food purveyors had done their homework. The research showed the customers did not care if the food they were buying had any nutritional value, or not. What the customers cared about was whether it tasted good.


Let’s get back to the question – is upsizing our order really that much more unhealthy? In very simple terms – YES. Facts tells us to stick to the basics when ordering:


  1. The average 12 ounce soda has between 120 – 180 calories, with zero nutritional value. All the calories come from sugar. However, fast-food peddlers don’t offer 12 ounce sodas. When we go from a “small”soda of 16 ounces, to a “medium” soda of around 22 ounces, we are drinking 200 calories of sugar and getting zero nutrition in the process.

  2. The average cheeseburger ordered at a drive-up window gives us 400 calories, 20 grams of fat and 800 mg of sodium. This is one third of our daily recommended intake of fat and salt. If we upsize and get a double cheeseburger and throw an order of fries into the bag, we will take in 1,400 calories, 73 grams of fat and enough salt to keep ice from forming on our driveway in the winter.

  3. If we order a medium pizza, it will arrive carrying 1,600 calories and 70 grams of fat. If we opt for the upsized pizza, it will contain 2,400 calories and over 100 grams of fat. This is more than 100% of recommended calories for a good-sized male.


We don’t need to keep going with the supersized calories, fat and salt from ordering the great deals at fast-food places. Suffice to say, it is best to rarely eat any fast-food, always stick to our original order, do not supersize because it’s a great deal, and only accept water as a beverage with any order. Upsizing takes more money out of our wallets and puts more luggage around our belt line.

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