Thursday, March 14, 2013

Fast Food Vindication by Lisa Tillinger Johansen

Obesity is feared to become an epidemic. Over 50 percent of Americans eat fast food. Is fast food the culprit or a scapegoat? Can you eat healthy fast food meals?
Lisa argues that yes, you can eat healthy fast food meals. There is much misinformation out there and she aims to change that.

Lisa says up front that she worked for the McDonald's Corporation as a real estate executive. Then she received her master's in nutritional science and is currently a registered dietitian working in the health education department of a major hospital in Southern California.

She says fast food is here to stay. It is our responsibility to learn how to eat for life and understand how fast food affects our lives. Armed with a bit of knowledge (and self-discipline), Lisa says we can incorporate nutritional food into a healthy lifestyle. She emphasizes that we must take responsibility for our weight. We cannot place the blame somewhere else. Fast food restaurants do not force feed us their food.

She gives a history of the fast food establishments and explains the benefits of the industry on labor and the economy. She also writes about the contributions of the various fast food chains to education and other causes.

She shows how to calculate our BMI and our BMR. She clarifies how we can find nutritional information about our favorite meals. (Finding this information is important as studies have shown we are not good at estimating the calorie content of food.) She includes tips for grocery shopping.

Part of Lisa's argument is that often the meals at sit down restaurants are much heavier in calories, fat, and sodium than fast food. I was shocked that some of the meals offered at restaurants contain more calories than one should have in an entire day and more sodium than three days!

Lisa reminds us that we are ultimately responsible for our own behavior. She gives us the tools we need to make better food choices, whether it is fast food or a meal at a sit down restaurant.

Lisa Tillinger Johansen spent seven years as a real estate manager for McDonald's Corporation before earning a Master's Degree in Nutritional Science from California State University Los Angeles. Now a Registered Dietitian at Kaiser Permanente, she teaches nutrition classes and counsels patients on a wide range of health issues. She lives in Southern California.

J Murray Press, 244 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

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