A Report from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine September 2010. How unhealthy is the McDonalds menu? The world’s largest fast-food chain serves a long list of high-fat, high-cholesterol items and offers almost no healthful choices, according to an analysis with dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). Even many McDonald’s items that consumers may believe are healthful—salads, for example—are generally high in calories, fat, and sodium.
The Big Mac, the chain’s signature sandwich, packs a walloping 540 calories and 29 grams of fat—but it is hardly the most unhealthful item on the menu. Here are five McDonald’s menu items with more fat and calories than a Big Mac:
Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese
- 42 grams of fat, 740 calories, 155 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,380 milligrams of sodiumAngus Bacon and Cheese
- 39 grams of fat, 790 calories, 145 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,070 milligrams of sodiumSausage Biscuit with Egg (Large Size Biscuit)
- 37 grams of fat, 570 calories, 250 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,280 milligrams of sodiumPremium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken and Ranch Dressing
- 35 grams of fat, 600 calories, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,450 milligrams of sodiumMcSkillet Burrito with Sausage
- 36 grams of fat, 610 calories, 410 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,390 milligrams of sodium
Dishonorable Mention: Targeting Young People
The children’s meals sold by McDonald’s are especially noteworthy for their high levels of fat and calories. With 840 calories, 37 grams of fat, and about as much sodium as a child should consume in an entire day, McDonald’s Mighty Kids Meal topped a recent PCRM list of the five most unhealthful fast-food meals marketed to children.