Unhealthy addictions can be costly

Sarah Fifield, Managing Editor

In a world of obesity, diabetes and high cholesterol, many Americans may choose to resort to the grab-and-go variety of eats.

“You have to be very strategic with what you consume on a daily basis depending on what your particular health condition is,” nurse Jill Stevens said. “So, I would recommend reading labels, most definitely, so that you know what you’re consuming.”

With fast food establishments seeming to appear at every corner, the temptation to simply cruise on through the line and grab a fat-infused taco platter and a ‘too-big-for- the-cup-holder’ soda can draw people in.

When even a salad from a drive-thru joint sky-rockets off the charts calorie-wise, the reality bell should be ring-a-dinging.

“When you look at a label,” Stevens said. “You need to be able to look at the grams of fat, carbohydrates and sodium for the salt amount. Total caloric intake typically isn’t as concerning as some of the other breakdowns.”

While burgers and fries are on the top of the list of fast-food favorites, the coffee bean has sent Americans in a downward, caffeine-induced spiral.

Being a $30 billion industry, coffee is making a splash. No, drinking coffee plain isn’t seen as a health hazard, yet it is the whipped and blended concoctions available at local coffee shops that bring the costs and calories up, up, up.

“I would say staying away from fast, fatty food is the best thing that you can do,” Stevens said. “Although, rewarding yourself can also be psychologically beneficial.”

Although both value meals and caf- feinated-delights cost a decent chunk of change, people still don’t seem to be aware of the damage – on the body and the bank account – these edible addictions can cause.

coffee craze coffee

[kaw-fee, kof-ee] noun; a beverage consisting of a decoction or infusion of the roasted ground or crushed seeds (coffee beans) of the two- seeded fruit (coffee berry) of certain coffee trees.

  • americans drink 400,000,000 cups per day


  • 50 million customers per week
  • 170,000 drink combinations

grande mocha frappuccino: (with whipped cream)

400 calories

15g fat

9g saturated fat

50mg cholesterol

230mg sodium

64g carbohydrates

60g sugar

drinks average $4.50 per grande drink if you get…

1 drink a day

… $31.50 a week

… $1,638 a year

1 drink a week

… $4.50 a week

… $234 a year


fast food frenzy

fast food noun; food, as hamburgers, pizza, or fried chicken, that is prepared in quantity by a standardized method and can be dispensed quickly at inexpensive restaurants for eating there or elsewhere.


  • 64 million customers served daily
  • $7.5 billion 2010 operating income
  • 12,804+ restaurants in United States

big mac value meal: (sandwich, medium fries, medium coca-cola)

1,130 calories

48g fat

13g saturated fat

75mg cholesterol

1,320mg sodium

151g carbohydrates

67g sugar

value meals average $5.80 per meal if you get…

1 meal a day 

… $40.60 a week

… $2,111.20 a year

3 meals a week

… $17.40 a week

… $904.80 a year

1 meal a week

… $5.80 a week

… $301.60 a year


Information gathered from McDonalds.com, Starbucks.com and CNBC.com