How unhealthy is the McDonald's 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 from 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 findings prompted PCRM to produce a provocative fast-food commercial set in a morgue with the goal of drawing attention to McDonald's high-fat fare. The commercial has drawn international attention and racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube.
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 sodium
Angus Bacon and Cheese
39 grams of fat, 790 calories, 145 milligrams of cholesterol, 2,070 milligrams of sodium
Sausage Biscuit with Egg (Large Size Biscuit)
37 grams of fat, 570 calories, 250 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,280 milligrams of sodium
Premium Southwest Salad with Crispy Chicken and Ranch Dressing
35 grams of fat, 600 calories, 75 milligrams of cholesterol, 1,450 milligrams of sodium
McSkillet 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.
For more information or to speak with a PCRM nutrition expert, please contact Vaishali Honawar at 202-527-7339 or [email protected].
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.