Opinion: No sugar-coating the peril


In the world of unhealthy choices, there are some overachievers. Starbucks offers to start our day with the 590-calorie White Hot Chocolate. Happily, according to its pitch, we will find it to be “creamier than creamy,” and standing in line to get it probably burns a few of those calories. And if an average U.S. female can consume less than 2,000 calories per day, taking down 30 percent of the gross amount for the 24 hours might not be too bad if she evens out her remaining intake with something abundant with a few more redeeming qualities. Broccoli?

The reigning and unchallenged champion of excess goes to the Triple Stacker King from Burger King at 1,370 calories for the sandwich. Add to it fries weighing in at 434 calories and a Coca-Cola at 507, and she’ll hit 2,311 — or 116 percent of the daily allowance. Sure, most of us don’t choke down the gut-busting combo meal daily. So, let’s go with the regular cheeseburger with medium french fries and cola. How bad could that be? It turns out that it’s not so good at 1,301 — or 65 percent of the day.

Hardee’s Fried Chicken 12-Piece and Biscuits should feed a family of four with its 6,490 calories, making the meal 1,735 per person if Junior eats as much as Dad. If he can’t and Dad picks up the slack, then Dad’s number will be higher. If Dad is average, he can afford to ingest 2,700 or so. He’d have room left over for a trip to Starbucks, or two. Fast food is not the only culprit packing our waistline. Cheesecake Factory serves a single-portion pasta with a 3,209-calorie wallop. Add the truffle cake for 1,770.  If we are surrounded with sugar-coated peril, how do we navigate?