Saturday, January 20, 2007

Don't buy the hype: fast-food ads cover up a mix of fat and fiction

The Independent

By Martin Hickman, Consumer Affairs Correspondent

They're all at it. This week Burger King was criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority for giving viewers a false impression of its premier brand, the Whopper. Instead of the large version praised by burly men singing a "manthem" in one of the company's television commericials, the store was serving far smaller burgers.
In the spirit of investigative inquiry, The Independent launched its own survey of fast-food classics as portrayed on advertising billboards and compared them with the real thing. The contrast, to say the least, was stark.
The Independent ordered a Big Mac from McDonald's, a Double Whopper from Burger King, a Cheesy Bites pizza from Pizza Hut and a Bargain Bucket from KFC. Our conclusions are presented alongside. In the meantime it is worth pointing out that even if the hype is seductive these are dishes that could seriously extend your waistline.
All the companies stress that their food is suitable for the whole family, but all four were loaded with salt and sugar, and two had more than the total recommended amount of calories, salt and fat for a whole day. Even on a subjective level, the food was greasier and less wholesome than it appeared in advertisements.


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