Obesity Under Fire with Mini-Foods

Obesity rates in America may just start to drop if fast food fans take advantage of the “mini foods” trend newly adopted by many popular chains.

BK burger shotsAmericans can lower their spending and their calorie count, thanks to a new national surge of “mini-foods”.

Many outlets, including McDonalds, Burger King and Krispy Kreme, are now offering smaller versions of their most popular foods. This seems to be a response to both the shaky economy and America’s obesity rates. Krispy Kreme now offers miniature doughnuts, Burger King has the tiny-sized “burger shot” and McDonalds has a “snack wrap” with chicken and lettuce rolled in an eight-inch tortilla.

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Many of these smaller items actually cost about the same as larger items you’d find on their value menu.  But Richard George, professor of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University, said the “mini foods” offer consumers a way to eat smaller portions of what they like without feeling guilty.

Rick Shea, president of Shea Marketing in Minneapolis, also noted that the small-sized option puts the consumer more in charge of the amount they eat, since restaurants tend to serve more food than we need.

Then again, when it comes to mini-foods, nobody is forcing us to stop at one helping. A 2008 study in the Journal of Consumer Research showed that people who consume these foods the most at one time are people wanting most to lose weight. Researchers said their study proves that mini-foods don’t solve a person’s tendency to overeat.

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