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This week’s lesson: Nutrition
Brought to you by — who else? — McDonald’s

McDonald’s splits their Web presence into two “sites”: one for kids and one for adults. While the kids innocently match broccoli and pasta to their appropriate food group in the “Pyramid Game” (suspiciously topped by the “fats, oils and sweets” group), the adults get down to the serious food “facts.”

A Q&A with McDonald’s “ in-house registered dietitian,” assures readers that “all foods can fit into a healthful eating plan, because it’s the total diet that counts…there are not good or bad foods.”

But the USDA might have a thing or two to say about that. Its 1995 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that no more than 30 percent of your total calories should come from fat.

According to McDonald’s own Nutrition Menus, 30 out of 35 single menu items (not including drinks, desserts, or sauces/salad dressings), exceed the USDA recommendations. Your low-fat options?

  • A McGrilled Chicken Classic (plain) — 13% of its calories come from fat;

  • An English Muffin — 14% of its calories come from fat;

  • Hotcakes (plain) — 19% of its calories come from fat;

  • Hotcakes (2 pats margarine & syrup) — 25% of its calories come from fat; or

  • A Fat Free Apple Bran Muffin — 0% of its calories come from fat.

Even a garden salad weighs in with 43% of its calories coming from fat. And that’s without salad dressing…!

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This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

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