Pre-Christmas study reveals true extent of potential health hazards of convenience foods

With the holiday season now in full swing, health advice website, has carried out a comprehensive new study which reveals which of America’s favorite dishes pose the greatest threat to the nation’s health (and waistlines).

Dr. Wayne Osborne reviewed dozens of New York’s most popular food choices and assessed which menu items exceeded the daily recommended nutritional intake for the average man and woman. The study threw up a number of surprises and highlighted how the seemingly healthier option isn’t always the smartest choice for arteries, cholesterol and calorie intake.

In his research, Dr. Osborne recorded the number of calories and amount of fat, sugar, and salt of the 16 most popular foods associated with the New York region of the United States. The startling results highlighted a serious need for public education and a greater understanding of how hazardous popular fast food choices can be for long-term health and wellbeing.

Key findings from the 2016 research:

- A serving of Chicken and Waffles contains 1,160kcal – over twice that of a Big Mac (523kcal) and almost 60% of the recommended daily intake for adults

-      A large slice of Stromboli contains a whopping 680kcal

-      A Reuben sandwich contains 6.1g of salt – the recommended daily intake for the average adult is just 2-6g, meaning it’s over the healthy daily limit and contains twice the amount of salt as a Burger King Whopper (3.1g)

-      13 of the 15 dishes assessed sat inside the maximum salt intake parameter per day, which demonstrates how easy it is to reach recommended safe limits for salt in just one meal.

-    Eggs Benedict contains 24g of saturated fat, Chicken and Waffles and the New York Cheesecake come in second and third with 22 and 20 grams. The reference intake for an adult is 20 grams, meaning all three dishes will take someone over their safe daily total in one sitting.

Dr. Wayne Osborne, who led the study, said the results illustrate the urgent need for more stringent labelling of nutritional values on meals served within eateries and takeaway stations. He noted that the growing trend of convenience food is a gateway to the expansion of chronic and deadly illnesses in USA, including obesity and high blood pressure. 

To put it crudely, the aim of a restaurant, cafe or a takeaway outlet is get you to go back, and to tell your friends about how good it was. They want you to like the food and have a positive experience. To ensure this, the restaurant needs to provide two things: nice-tasting food and value for money. Salt tends to make food taste nice, and so does fat and sugar. Some ingredients used to make restaurant dishes are naturally salty, fatty or sugar laden. In some cases, a restaurant may add salt or use a cooking process which utilizes lots of oil or fat, to make a dish more appealing.

“Busy routines are an unavoidable aspect of urban living, but a good diet is crucial to supplement it. Calorie-dense foods are only a temporary fix for flagging energy levels; while healthier choices will help to solve the problem and be more sustainable long term. Prepare lunch at home and take it with you to work as much as possible, make time to cook dinner from scratch, and keep an eye on portion sizes.”

The full study is available to read at  


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About is a UK licensed pharmacy and health advisory platform for men and women seeking support, advice and treatment options for common and embarrassing lifestyle conditions. Dr Wayne Osborne is a qualified medical professional and leads the medical team.