Michael Anchors, MD, PhD
When asked to give examples of fattening food, most patients list “fast food” first, meaning things such as KFC and McDonalds. I bet most of my patients have a fast food meal once or several times a week. When I pass such places on the road, there are always long lines of cars in the take-out lane. I assume most of these meals are eaten in the car.
When I ask patients why fast food is fattening, their first answer is because it contains so much fat. Even people coming for a fourth visit, people who have been told many times that it is sugar, sweeteners and refined (white) flour that cause obesity, they still make the mistake of blaming fat. Old (mental) habits die hard–if ever at all. All of you should be reading The Obesity Code by Jason Fung MD.
I don’t know of any prospective studies testing whether fast food is fattening, but assuming it is, I lay the fault to the following . . .
(1) People eating fast food restaurants always eat the whole thing. Especially in the car, because there is no easy way to dispose of the extra. And left-over fast food kept in the frig tastes gross.
(2) Fast food is always eaten with a big soda. They don’t sell small sodas. Sodas contain far too much sugar or sweeteners.
(3) Any food eaten fast is more fattening than the same food eaten slowly. Even–listen–even if it is the same amount of food. I know this is true, but I am not sure why it is true. I assume that food eaten fast stimulates more insulin secretion than the same food eaten slowly.
So if you are going to eat at a fast restaurant, get a smaller portion. If it has to be big, don’t eat the whole thing even if it means you throw some out. Wasteful of course, but it’s not your fault. Food doesn’t become unwasted just because you eat it. When a fat person eats food they don’t need, it’s still wasted. It’s the restaurant’s fault not yours. Skip the soda and drink water, or don’t drink the whole soda.