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Has Fast Food Really Become Healthier Over The Years?

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File photo of a car at a McDonald's drive-thru. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

File photo of a car at a McDonald’s drive-thru. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

CBS Charlotte (con't)

Affordable Care Act Updates:

Health News & Information:

(CBS Charlotte) — These days, most Americans are health conscious and try to eat the “right foods,” in addition to exercising regularly.

A plethora of fast food chains around the nation have picked up on our quest to eat healthier, live healthier, and be healthier — and over the last few years, many have pledged to offer nutritious options on their menus.

(Related Article: McDonald’s Breakfast Served All Day…Yeah, It Could Happen!)

But, are fast food restaurants really healthier now than they were before? Surprisingly, not really. According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, the nutritional value found in fast food meals has not significantly improved. Furthermore,  between 1997 and 1998 and 2009 and 2010, the nutritional value of meals purchased at fast food restaurants only improved by 3 percent.

Eight fast food restaurants were evaluated in the study: Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Burger King, KFC, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, and Jack in the Box. On any given week in the United States, one quarter of adults purchase fast food two times or more.

While the true nutritional value of fast food may be questionable, one thing is certain; many fast food restaurants have made great strides in offering healthier options, reduce portion sizes, and use healthier cooking oils.

-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte

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