Fact Sheets

Season 5, Ep 1 - Burgers


In the last 25 years in New Zealand, McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have gone from having around 25 to 255 restaurants. Just over 60% of these are McDonald’s.

Under New Zealand law, food like burgers, packaged where it’s sold doesn’t need to list its ingredients.

The fat content of the meat used to make McDonald’s beef patties is 18- 24 %.

The fat content of the meat used to make Wendy’s beef patties is 24-26%.

The fat content of the meat used to make Burger King’s beef patties is 23-24%.

The fat content of the meat used to make BurgerFuel’s beef patties is 19%.

The fat content of the meat used to make Burger Wisconsin’s beef patties is 10-15%.

Hormonal Growth Promotants (HGPs) are approved for use in beef production in New Zealand.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) states, less than 1% (less than 39,000) beef cattle in New Zealand have HGPs administered.

MPI states, “there is no scientific evidence of any detrimental impact on human health through the consumption of meat and meat products that have been produced using approved HGPs”.

HGPs have been banned in Europe since 1988.

McDonald’s and Burger King don’t specifically exclude meat containing HGPs to make their beef patties.

Wendy’s, Burger Wisconsin and BurgerFuel guarantee the meat used to make their beef burgers is HGP free.

Wendy’s, Burger King and McDonald’s use 100% beef to make their beef patties.

Burgers can have nutritional merit.They include iron and protein.

Based on the Food Standards Code, an average adult, eating three meals and two snacks a day, should consume no more than around 20g of total fat in a single meal.

Total fat content of large burgers (per serve): Burger King Double Whopper: 54.1g, Wendy’s Big Classic Triple with Cheese: 52g, McDonald’s Double Quarter Pounder: 50.4g.

Total Fat content of more regular-sized burgers (per serve): Burger King Whopper: 36.7g, McDonald’s Big Mac: 26g, Wendy’s Big Classic: 19g.

The Food Standards Code recommends adults consume no more than 24g of saturated fat per day.

Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol concentration and blood cholesterol is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Every 90 minutes, a New Zealander dies from coronary heart disease.

Some of the biggest takeaway burgers contain more, or all, of the saturated fat it’s recommended an average adult consume in a day.

High amounts of sodium can raise blood pressure, which can increase the chance of heart disease and stroke.

Sixty-five percent of New Zealanders are consuming more sodium than is recommended, on average one and a half times more.

It’s estimated three quarters of the sodium we consume comes from processed food.

Bread is the single biggest contributor of sodium in our diet.

The Heart Foundation recommends bread should contain less than 450mg of sodium per 100g.

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