Let’s face it. Despite big fast food’s attempts to add healthy options to their menus, if you’re visiting a fast food chain restaurant, you’re probably aware of the health risks associated with that quick and easy meal. But as it turns out, no two fast food brands are created equal, at least when it comes to nutritional value. A team of researchers at The Wall Street Journal recently analyzed the publicly available nutrition information from menus at major fast food chains across America and ranked them based on six nutrition components: levels of saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, carbohydrates, sugars, and calories. The result was a ranked list of the least healthy chains in America.
“When I think of extremely unhealthful fast-food items, they tend to be large, meat-heavy sandwiches,” nutrition expert Christine Palumbo said. “They are high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat.” It’s no surprise, then, that the lowest-ranking restaurants mostly served burgers and beefy sandwiches.
The winner (or loser, depending on how you look at it) of the Journal’s analysis of the worst fast food chains is Sonic. Sonic, the territory of milkshakes and roller-skating servers, is the unhealthiest chain in the business. Almost half of their menu options contain more than 600 calories, and 87 percent of their meals are considered unhealthy by the Journal’s six metrics. The average Sonic burger packs 780 calories, and almost half of their menu items contain at least one gram of the soon-to-be-illegal trans fats.
Here’s the rest of the bottom 10 list, ranked in order from best to worst.
Jack in the Box