On Paradise Road we have a Dunkin Donuts, Five Guys, UNO’s and soon, adding to the dining options in town, will be Cheeburger, Cheeburger whose logo is “BIG IS BETTER.” Many of us fondly remember the famous skit from Saturday Night Live with the late John Belushi as the owner of the Olympia Café, but transferring our sentiments to our bellies and arteries does not bode well for our health.
Here in Swampscott, we live in a beautiful, seaside town, with parks for running, playing tennis, basketball, softball and baseball, beaches for swimming, kayaking and paddle boarding and we have some paths and newly paved parts of Humphrey street for bicycling. We just installed new sidewalks to insure the safety of our kids and to encourage them to walk to Stanley School. We have a Farmer’s Market which supplies bountiful healthy produce.
However, instead of thinking outside of the box and encouraging healthy food establishments, we continually invite chain restaurants to pollute the health of our town, harden our arteries and increase our girth.
Here is the nutritional information, provided by Cheeburger Cheeburger, (cheeburger. com/nutrition) of some of the items offered on their extensive menu. To give you some context, the Mayo Clinic recommends fat intake of 20-25% of total daily calories. Based on an average 2000 calories/day, that amounts to 44-78 grams/ per DAY. We are not talking per MEAL.
Now for some of the enticing menu options:
· A breakfast wrap with sausage and potatoes weighs in at 1281.56 calories and 79.6 grams of fat.
· The Serious Breakfast is 1059 calories, (554 calories from fat) and at 62grams of fat provides 95% of total daily fat. And if that isn’t serious enough… the breakfast item offers 2299mg of sodium. Seriously!!!
· The famous pounder is famous for 1415 calories, 83 grams of fat and a whopping 1921 mg. of sodium! Thirsty anyone?
“Eat our 20 ouncer,” Cheeburger advertises, “and you can get your photo on the Restaurant’s Wall of Fame.”
Wouldn’t it be a novel idea if our seaside community of 14,412 folks rallied a hue and cry and demanded healthier alternatives to take our families for meals? I urge all of us to reevaluate our restaurant choices and encourage our town planners to invite healthier, more locally sourced, nutritionally conscious enterprises to bring their businesses to our town.
Deborah Shelkan Remis
Member, Swampscott Board of Health