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Fast-Food Marketers Promote Fat-Heavy Options

Despite being under fire from health groups over the childhood obesity issue, America's fast-food marketers are introducing new menu items that defy healthy eating. In a move that has alarmed nutritionists, the chains are promoting what the industry calls "indulgent" offerings packed with calories and fat. For example, ads for Burger King's new BK Stackers tout burgers that can include four slabs of beef, four slices of cheese, and four strips of bacon. And BK is not alone. An ad for Denny's restaurant chain touts its Extreme Grand Slam Breakfast, which consists of three strips of bacon, three sausage links, two eggs, hash browns, and three pancakes. It tells customers they should not have to choose between bacon and sausage. Not surprisingly, health groups are unhappy. They claim the messages are irresponsible in an age of rising obesity rates and a surge in diet-related diseases, like diabetes. "People know that a quadruple burger or extreme breakfast is not the healthiest choice, but I don't think they expect to eat a whole day's worth of calories in one sitting," says Margo G. Wootan, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest. "Restaurants are giving customers these choices without telling them what the impact on their diet will be."



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