Men’s Health Grades Healthfulness of Chain Restaurants

August 1, 2008

Men’s Health just gave grades to thirteen restaurant chains. Coming out on top was Chick-fil-A, which got the only A grade of the bunch. Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill got a D, and this explanation:

We applaud Chipotle’s commitment to high-quality produce and fresh meats, but even the most pristine ingredients can’t dampen the damage wrought by the massive portion sizes served up here. The lack of options for kids means young eaters are forced to tussle with one of Chipotle’s massive burritos or taco platters, which can easily top 1,000 calories.

Your Survival Strategy: Stick to the crispy tacos or burrito bowls, or saw a burrito in half.

This is truly idiotic. At Chipotle you can order a vegan burrito with black beans, rice, salsa, and guacamole. It’s probably about the healthiest meal you can get in an American chain restaurant. How is this less healthy than a Chick-fil-A meal centered on factory farmed chicken?

Granted, you can get a mega-calorie mega-unhealthy burrito at Chipotle that’s oozing with beef and cheese. But shouldn’t these establishments be graded on the healthiest meal they offer rather than their least healthy meal? If that was the case, Chipotle would probably win this contest.

Whatever grade Chipotle merits, the article’s authors deserve an F for devising this ridiculous grading system. The sad thing is that most readers will take these grades at face value. Link.

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