Howdy, readers! We’ve already covered smoking and binge drinking in my whirlwind tour of campus health, so that leaves only one more category to go: fast food. While it doesn’t have the social stigma of smoking or the immediate consequences of binge drinking, fast food consumption is easily the most prevalent of my “cardinal sins of health.”
By examining the culture of fast food, it seems apparent that our generation has entered some sort of “black hole” when it comes to the health merits of drive-thru cuisine.
Fast food didn’t have the status of a “daily” or “semi-weekly” meal during our parents’ time, and the Facebook generation was a little late for those healthy kid’s meals from McDonald’s and Wendy’s, which are meant to combat our country’s obesity epidemic.
My friends, we’re stuck in an artery-clogging culture.
Take for example, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Famous Mashed Potato Bowl,” sarcastically referred to by one of my friends as the “Tasty Bowl.” This little number is a bowl full of mashed potatoes, corn, chicken, gravy and cheese.
Apparently, having to eat all of our sides separately from the chicken was too tiring for our society. Now, we can just relax our esophagus and shovel the greasy goodness right down to our stomachs without having to chew. You don’t eat a “Tasty Bowl,” you inhale it.
Whatever evils the “Tasty Bowl” may bring, they pale in comparison to Burger King’s line of “Stacker” burgers. These stacks of meat and cheese can range from two to four patties. Even though I am a recovering fast food addict, I never, in my wildest dreams, thought the quadruple cheeseburger would ever rear its ugly head. I always figured a quadruple burger would be followed by worldwide riots that would bring about Armageddon.
However, its introduction passed without a ripple.
So, you’re sick and tired of campus food, and you don’t have the money to eat at Chili’s for the third Friday in a row. Should you go hungry and avoid the temptation of fast food?
Nonsense. When in a pinch, one can dine on the cheap without setting themselves up for a triple bypass surgery by using my “Three Less Deadly Ways to Consume Fast Food” system.
Step 1: Avoid combo meals at all costs. They sucker you into consuming french fries and a large soda behind the guise of a great deal. Just skip the fries and soda by ordering the sandwich a la carte and take advantage of complimentary water. The resulting meal is cheaper and much better for your health.
Step 2: Be careful with fast food salads. Many people eat salad because they are trying to be more health conscious. However, fast food salads are wolves in sheep’s clothing. For example, McDonald’s Asian Salad with Crispy Chicken has 17 grams of fat and 370 calories. A Quarter Pounder has 18 grams of fat and 420 calories. Therefore, eating the Asian Salad is roughly equivalent to scarfing down a Quarter Pounder. If you’re going to get a salad, go meatless.
Step 3: Go less often. As tempting as an Ultimate Cheeseburger or Nacho Cheese Chalupa may be, eating them constantly will take its toll on your waistline. If you’re itching to go out, find a healthier eating alternative offering reasonable prices. While you won’t find anything as cheap as fast food, Subway is a good alternative. Just ask Jared.
Well, there you have it folks. By ditching smoking, eliminating binge drinking and making smart fast food choices, we can all help TCU skyrocket to the title of fittest campus in America.
As a result, a culture of ultra-fit, good-looking people will develop.
David Hall is a freshman news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood. His column appears every Tuesday and Friday.