Burger King, home of the Whopper, could be making a whopper out of all of us with its latest burger offering. The new Smoked Bacon and Cheddar Double Angus burger racks up a total of 966 calories and 58g of fat, 23g of which are saturated fats.
Containing two 6.4oz burgers, bacon, cheddar cheese, steakhouse sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion and mayonnaise, the monster burger has sparked debate among nutrition experts and health food campaigners.
Tam Fry, spokesperson for the National Obesity Forum, told the Mail Online:
“This horrendous burger is a graphic illustration of where the government's obesity strategy has gone wrong.
She added: “This burger is the height of irresponsibility and, if left unfettered, the food industry will do nothing to help stem the current obesity epidemic.”
However, Jennifer Low, a spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association, told The Huffington Post: “I don’t necessarily think we can blame the fast food companies for selling the burgers. It’s down to the individual's choice.
“If people are going to overeat they can do that on a number of things. The main point for us, as dietitians, is not that these foods are banned but that people are aware of what they are eating so they can make informed decisions.”
She adds: “The industry is much better at telling the public what they are eating nowadays and most fast food chains do provide nutritional information.”
However, Low does warn that it can be all too easy to clock up the calories and fat content in fast food restaurants: “This burger contains almost half the recommended daily calorie intake for a woman and almost her entire recommended daily intake of fat. And when most people walk into a burger bar, it’s worth bearing in mind that they are probably going to have fries and a soft drink with that.”
She says: “Calorific meals should be thought of as treats and put into context with whatever else they have eaten that week.”
A spokesperson from Burger King told The Huffington Post, “Burger King is by no means the only fast food chain offering a high-calorie option. We do also have low-calorie options. This is meant to be a treat. McDonald’s has options with similar calorie counts on its menu.”
Indeed, the McDonald’s Big Tasty With Bacon contains 890 calories and 55g of fat.
The fast food chain added: “At Burger King we offer a range of high quality burgers for all appetites that are made from 100% beef, with no added salt and are flame grilled and not fried. We also have lower calorie options on our menu including the sweet chili chicken wrap at 296 calories and our hamburger at 260 calories and 4g of fat.”
Burger King also said that its consumers are provided with the information they need to be able to make informed choices.
“We provide nutritional information on folders in all our restaurants and on our website www.burgerking.co.uk. In addition, we are pleased to have signed up to the UK Government’s Public Health Responsibility Deal making a pledge to display calorie information on our main menu boards above the counter from the summer onwards.”