Saturday, June 03, 2006

Panera - the Devil's in the Details

We had a gorgeous day here in Chicago and decided to stroll over to Panera in true yuppy fashion to have lunch with my wife. I ordered the chicken ceasar salad and did not have the roll or chips. My wife had the Frontega Chicken sandwich on Focaccia bread. The place was packed, mostly by teens and parents with their kids. We had to wait for a few minutes to receive our order, so I picked up Panera's printed information on nutrition in their store. Interestingly, while individual bread, roll, and salad information was ready printed, I could not find my wife's sandwich on the information. Seems you have to go the their website ( to get such information. Hmmm. Always take pause when this happens.

So after we returned home I booted my computer and check their website out and was shocked to find that Panera's Frontega Chicken on Focaccia sandwich had more calories and fat that a double quarter pounder with cheese at McDonalds!

Smokehouse Turkey Panini on Asiago Cheese Focaccia at Panera
Serving Size: 13 oz
Calories: 840
Sodium: 2770mg
Total Fat: 37g
Total Carbohydrate: 77g
Saturated Fat: 15g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Trans Fat: 0.5g
Sugars: 6g
Cholesterol: 120mg
Protein: 51g

Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonalds
Serving Size: 13 oz
Calories: 730
Sodium: 1330mg
Total Fat: 40g
Total Carbohydrate: 46g
Saturated Fat: 19g
Dietary Fiber: 3g
Trans Fat: 3g
Sugars: 9g
Cholesterol: 160mg
Protein: 47g

With more and more findings of teen obesity and its effects on our kids health, especially the new finding published yesterday in the 6 June 2006 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology documenting decreased heart muscle function in obese kids compared to fit ones:

"The Strong Heart study (SHS) is a longitudinal study of cardiovascular
risk factors and cardiovascular disease that enrolled 4,549 people in American
Indian communities in Arizona, Oklahoma, and North and South Dakota. This
analysis included data from examinations of 460 participants age 14 to 20
years (245 girls and 215 boys).

The researchers used ultrasound and other methods to measure the size,
shape and pumping function of the teenagers' hearts. The left ventricles of the
hearts of both overweight and obese teenagers were larger and heavier than those
of normal weight participants; but the obese teenagers also showed signs of
impaired heart function. The changes were not entirely explained by changes by
high blood pressure."

So educate yourself, consider alternate food choices or another dining location, and perhaps most importantly, educate your kids.


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