Nutritional value of fast food restaurantsScience project video

popular science fair projects
Complexity level:
5
Project cost ($):
Time required:
Additional time is needed to conduct survey
Material availability:
Safety concerns:

Abstract

Fast food is very popular as evident by the number of fast food chains in our neighborhoods. But does the convenience that fast food offer come at a cost? In this science project, you will be conducting a survey to understand "fast food habits", and you will also examine the nutritional vale of these meals.

Objective

Evaluate the nutritional value of participants? fast food diets.

Background

The dietary habits of Americans are a great cause for concern. Based on statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), our dietary choices are making a major impact on our health. In the USA, heart disease is the leading cause of death, with close to 100 million Americans dying from heart disease-related problems annually; dietary habits are a major factor, responsible for these numbers. It is estimated that there are 50,000 fast food chains in America. In conducting this study, you will be able to determine the nutritional value of fast food offered at these restaurants.

Scientific Terms

Nutrition, Fast food

Materials

Internet access

120 participants: 60 male, 60 female, evenly distributed across the following age groups- 18 and under, 18-30, 30-50, and 50 and over.

Notepad and writing materials

Procedure

Interview the participants on their fast food habits by asking the following question:

How often do you eat fast food in any given month?

Which fast food restaurants to go usually to?

What do you normally order? Ask for specifics. For example:

- Size: (Large fries or large drink?)

- Cheese added to hamburger

- Sauces

Check the nutritional value of restaurants by going online (Resources are provided in the bibliography section).

Compare the nutritional information with the recommended daily nutritional standards (Resources are provided in the bibliography section).

Repeat this process with all participants.

Summarize your findings for the group: How hazardous are the eating habits of your group of participants?

Discussion

Proper nutrition is essential for good health; however, eating nutritious and balanced meals is not easy for many people. Life style, habits, and access to healthy food are all factors that make it challenging for us to eat well. Beginning with yourself, what changes can you make that would result in progressively improved eating habits?

Questions & Answers

What is nutrition?

Nutrition is the process of obtaining the food necessary for health and growth. It has an all encompassing role in the functioning of life. Nutrition has a direct impact on our physical health, mental health, emotional health, and on our body?s ability to both overcome and prevent disease.

Make it Your Own

Fast food is not unique to America. Many other countries have fast food chains. Conduct the same experiment but choose a different country. Use the internet to search for information on fast food availability and obesity rates, and compare that information to America?s.

References

Fast Food nutrition http://www.fastfoodnutrition.org/

"Fast Food Restaurants & Nutrition Facts Compared" from the A Calorie Counter website at http://www.acaloriecounter.com/fast-food.php

"Interactive Fast Food Menu with Fitness" from the Extension website at http://www.extension.org/pages/24390/interactive-fast-food-menu-with-fitness#.Uu7Qzfuukp4

"Reference Values for Nutrition Labeling" from the Netrition website at http://www.netrition.com/rdi_page.html

Videos