We’re being tempted more than ever to give into the lure of fast food while we’re stuck at home, but a new report might make you think twice about that burger and chips.
Research conducted by The George Institute for Global Health has analysed more than 4702 fast food items in Australia to reveal the most unhealthy options – and there’s an unlikely outlet taking out the top spot.
The health body documented their findings inFoodSwitch: State of the Fast Food Supplyreport released last month and it will make you think twice about opening your Uber Eats app.
RELATED: Coffee vs tea: Which is healthier?
Red Rooster’s Bacon and Cheese Rippa single meal combo containing a Bacon and Cheese Rippa Roll, large fries and a Coke has a whopping 7600kJ – or 89 per cent of the average male’s daily energy intake.
According to the report, this meal would take over five hours of walking – or two-and-a-half hours of running – to work off.
Coming in second was Hungry Jacks with their Whopper Hunger Tamers Meal which contains a Whopper burger, BBQ cheeseburger, medium chips, three nuggets and a medium coke
totalling 7600kJ – or 87 per cent of the average male’s daily energy intake.
The healthiest meal combos were from the two biggest fast food chains, with KFC’s Original Recipe Chicken Fillet Meal having the lowest energy score of just 2541kJ, or 29 per cent of the average daily intake.
The next lowest was McDonald’s Hamburger Meal with 2912kJ per serving and its six Chicken McNugget meal with 2962kJ.
Hungry Jacks’ burger racked up the highest scores in energy when it came to its burgers, with its Double Angus Smokey BBQ burger a huge 5610kJ, or 65 per cent of the average male energy intake.
In contrast McDonald’s hamburger had the lowest energy intake of any beef burger with just 1060kJ.
When it came to chicken burgers Red Rooster’s Bacon and Cheese Rippa was the worst offender with 4560kJ while KFC’s Baked Aioli Slider was the healthiest with 901kJ per serving – however it’s worth noting the slider is on the chain’s snack menu.
For plant-based burger’s Grill’d had both ends of the spectrum with its Beyond Garden
Goodness Burger on a gluten-free bun 4160kJ a serve while its Mushroom Parma Vegie Burger had 2224kJ a serve.
RELATED: Photo shows why you shouldn’t snack
Analysing 272 products sold by Crust, Pizza Hut and Domino’s the report found that while the three chains had similar health star ratings but Pizza Hut had the highest average kilojoule content.
The large meat pizza with the highest energy content was Domino’s New Yorker The Big Three Meats with 11,040kJ per pizza.
The meat pizza with the lowest amount of kilojoules was Domino’s Ham and Cheese on classic base at 3944kJ per pizza.
The vegetarian pizza with the highest energy intake was Domino’s The New Yorker The Big
Cheese with 9520kJ while the vego pizza with the lowest energy content was also from Domino’s, with their Spicy Veg Trio on Classic base 3728kJ per pizza.
Pizza Hut’s Garlic Prawn Traditional Base at 7261kJ was the highest energy seafood pizza, while Domino’s Garlic Prawn on gluten-free base was the lowest with 4184kJ per pizza.
FAST FOOD – IS IT GETTING HEALTHIER?
While the study was able to analyse thousands of fast food meals, nearly half of the country’s fast food chains couldn’t be included in the findings as not enough information was made publicly available.
“We found that nutrition information provided by fast food chains isn’t always clear or consistent, making it difficult for people to choose wisely,” public health lawyer and research fellow at The George Institute Dr Alexandra Jones said.
“The wide availability and promotion of meal options that contain excess energy are helping to fuel the nation’s obesity epidemic.”
The report compared fast food trends from 2016 to 2019 and found that fast food outlets had not made much progress in making their food healthier.
Dr Jones, who was one of the authors of the report, said the key message to customers was to minimise the eating of fast food.
“There are clear opportunities for companies to do better, like making healthier versions of products, replacing the less healthy ones with better ones in smaller serving sizes, and displaying complete nutrition information near the point of purchase, to help people make healthier choices,” Dr Jones said.
“In the meantime, our message to consumers is to limit your consumption of fast foods. Take the opportunity of more time at home to brush up on your cooking skills – home cooking from scratch will also have benefits for your health.”