Burger King

Looking to pull itself out of its number three ranking behind fast food chains McDonald’s and Wendy’s, Burger King has launched its biggest menu expansion in nearly 60 years. And, it’s pulling in major promotional help from celebrities including soccer star David Beckham, late-night host Jay Leno, actress Salma Hayek, musician Mary J. Blige, actress Sofia Vergara and Aerosmith front-man/American Idol judge, Steven Tyler.

Citing the menu expansion as deserving of support by the diverse cast “representing the many faces of the American melting pot,” the fast-food chain’s newest offerings will include fruit smoothies, frappe coffee drinks, garden salads, wraps and chicken strips, all “made-to-order with fresh new flavors that live up to the brand’s signature great taste,” the company said in a release on its website.

While some of Burger King’s changes appear to be a move towards providing customers with healthier menu options, wrangling in such A-list celebrities and epitomes of health like Beckham has critics calling it a desperate move, one that’s too little, too late. But, Beckham is standing behind his endorsement and appearance in the company’s commercials. In a statement, the athlete said, “Burger King is showing commitment to areas that I’m passionate about, such as supporting charities, helping children and improving the healthier eating options.”

But are the new menu items really living up to their healthy appearances? According to the Burger King website, its new Strawberry Banana Smoothie, which Beckham orders in his commercial appearance, contains 310 calories and a ‘whopper’ dose of sugar: 60 grams per serving—the equivalent of a ¼ cup of sugar.  A 3-piece chicken strip serving contains 1,400 milligrams of sodium—nearly 60 percent of the recommended daily allowance. The Chicken, Apple & Cranberry Garden Fresh Salad, which the chain says “perfectly blends seven premium lettuces, crisp apples, sweet dried cranberries, and crumbly bleu cheese” contains more than 500 calories per serving, 35 grams of sugar and nearly 1,000 grams of sodium.

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Image: Editor B