Rats, Fast Food and Addiction

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Flickr: Big Fat Rat
Not that we didn't come to this conclusion on our own after watching Supersize Me, but scientists in Florida have completed an experiment involving rats and junk food that offers proof (at least in rats) that fast/junk food is indeed addictive.

According to an article in MedicineNet.com, the study involved a group of rats fed nothing but pound cake, bacon, candy bars and other junk food. The rats, who literally thought they had died and gone to heaven, developed such a compulsion to eat that they would continue chowing down, even after receiving an unpleasant little electric shock, while their unlucky brethren (the control group) that had been fed healthy stuff, ate normally and stopped after receiving the shock. 

*more after the jump

Hot Dogs: Delicious But Deadly

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​According to this recent USA Today article, the American Academy of Pediatrics is suggesting that certain foods, specifically hot dogs, come with a warning label. It's getting so much attention, we even mentioned it in our Food Roundup yesterday... This warning doesn't address the scary organ meat (from lips to hiney holes), preservatives, fats and artificial ingredients in the American frankfurters, but the choking hazard they pose to children.

According to the Center for Injury Research and Policy, the size of a hot dog is the "perfect plug for a child's airway," and they relay their hope for some really bored inventor to come up with a new way to stuff animal by-products into a casing shape that won't choke kids as easily. While we're awaiting the newest advancements in weenie technology, we'll be closely watching the American hot dog industry for signs of a conspiracy.

McDonald's New Italian Burgers Actually Sound Delicious

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flickr: barisione
​Not surprisingly, McDonald's quest for world domination has led them to Italy, where they released a new line of sandwiches appropriately named the McItaly. With a vegetarian version boasting an artichoke spread and Asiago cheese, as well as a beefy one with onions and smoked pancetta, McDonald's is using all Italian ingredients for the new burgers. They're so good, even the Italian government is endorsing the line of sandwiches (but it also helps that McDonald's will be using up to 1,000 tons of Italian agriculture per month).

'Twilight' Fever Causes Problems for Burger King





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​The New Moon phenomenon isn't just a nuisance to boyfriends and fans of non-sparkly vampires, it has actually become a burden to Burger King as well. TMZ is reporting that the life-size posters of Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner are being stolen right off of Burger King's windows in broad daylight. Although the promotion, which has been running since November 16th, also includes special New Moon crowns and The Twilight Saga: New Moon Fan Pack pictured on the right, it looks like fans of the series are all about wanting the one thing they can't have: a hunky young man of their very own.

The McRib Makes Its Triumphant Return

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​Today marks the return of one of the most iconic sandwiches in McDonald's history, the legendary McRib. After vanishing from menus in 2006, the McRib is finally making a return appearance (at least in Southern California) and will be on menus for a "limited time only." McRib sightings have been rampant on Twitter, and loyalists of the on-again-off-again sandwich are scampering to score their fix while they can.

So far, there has been no confirmation regarding how long we can expect the McRib's appearance to last, but judging from past experience, it will probably disappear just as soon as we start to take it for granted.

Burger King Runs Out of "Meet"

It's a dark day when a fast food restaurant has to close its doors because it ran out of food. Still, you'd think they could have spent just a little more time putting together a sign to let customers know what was going on.

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Via Imgur

Eating the Road Helps Determine Where to Go for Fast Food

In a particularly inspired bit of brilliance, the food blog, Eating the Road has assembled a handy flow chart to help people determine which fast food restaurant to select in any given scenario. We've run through the flow chart at least a dozen times now, and it seems to be a pretty foolproof (and almost 100 percent reliable) decision-making tool. In fact, it's probably a good idea to print out a copy and keep it in your glove box just in case you find yourself at a loss for where to grab your next meal.

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Via Eating the Road

Time's 10 Worst Fast-Food Meals

Time Magazine is jumping on the fast-food-bashing bandwagon and has compiled a list of the top 10 worst fast-food meals. The list contains usual suspects, like Outback Steakhouse's Aussie Cheese Fries and KFC's Famous Bowl, but it also threw a few new entries into the mix. On the one hand, it's not overly surprising that Applebee's Quesadilla Burger would be extremely unhealthy, but on the other hand, it's one of those items you totally forget even exists. So, kudos to Time Magazine for doing their journalistic due diligence and unearthing a few hidden gut bombs. This is what hard core reporting is all about.

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Who knew this thing was real?

Burger King Warps into the 21st Century

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Whopper Bar Concept Art
In what appears to be an effort to bring a hip, futuristic edge to a company that is anything but, Burger King is going to be updating their locations and trying to break free of the traditional fast-food image. These changes seem to reflect the same cutting-edge mentality that inspired the Whopper Bar concept, and the large scale re-model of their locations is expected to include TV menus, red flame chandeliers, and a more industrial feel.

The massive overhaul is reportedly going to encompass over 12,000 locations and cost each store in excess of $300,000. We're not sure how much of an effect red flame chandeliers are going to have on Burger King's bottom line, but we're certainly looking forward to sitting down for a Whopper at what promises to be the trendy new hangout in 2010 and beyond.

Fast Food Combos the World Needs

A list published yesterday on Maxim.com of 8 fast food combos the world needs seems more like a list of items auditioning for thisiswhyyourefat than actual food products any rational person would ever consume. We're fans of excessive eating as much as the next person (hell, we can't go to the fair without powering through an elephant ear and some curly fries) but some of these proposed combinations are downright obscene. Hodge-podgy blends like "The Chocolate McGriddle Crunch Cake" which is "a McDonalds sausage, egg, and cheese McGriddle sandwiched between two Dominos Chocolate Lava Crunch Cakes" isn't so much inventive as it is depressing to look at.