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Fat and Calorie Content of Fast Food Versus a Home-Cooked Meal

Eating fast food once in a while won’t hurt you, but too much of it can cause serious problems. Most fast food contains too many calories, salt and artery-clogging cholesterol to eat every day, or even once a week. Here’s a look at how many calories and grams of fat are packed into fast food. Keep in mind that kids ages 7 to 12 should eat about 2,200 calories per day, while adults should consume around 2,000 calories per day. Exercise levels and current weight can affect these numbers. Note the totals of the single meals at the fast food restaurants comprise almost a full day's calories!

Food Calories Fat
McDonald’s Big Mac 563 33 grams
Medium-sized McDonald’s French fries 384 20
Medium-sized McDonald’s vanilla shake 733 21
Total for one meal 1,680 calories 74 grams
     
Burger King Whopper with cheese 790 48
Medium-sized Burger King French fries 387 20
Medium-sized Burger King vanilla shake 667 35
Total for one meal 1,844 calories 103 grams
     
Compare that to a meal prepared at home:
One-half of a roasted chicken breast 142 3 grams
Medium-sized baked white potato 130 0
Half a cup of green peas 67 0
8-ounce glass of 1% milk 102 3
1 cup of unsweetened applesauce 105 0
Total for one meal 546 5 grams

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