New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman recently examined the nutritional merits of McDonald's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal, an apparently "healthy" breakfast item that actually contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and only 10 fewer calories than an Egg McMuffin. Yikes. But while it's easy to supersize our scorn for McDonald's, it's worth noting that Mickey D's isn't playing the only shell game in town.
Many other fast-food joints offer healthy-sounding options that aren't exactly health food. What follows are a few examples of health-washing: items that appear wholesome but don't quite deliver on the nutrition front. The problems with the meals may vary, but the takeaway is the same: always scope out the nutrition information on a fast-food restaurant's website before you show up and order. You may be surprised by what you learn.