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Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.


Mega-food trend continues with the debut of a foot-long cheeseburger

Go through today's newspaper and count the number of fast-food and junk-food advertisements. Do you think the ads are contributing to the obesity epidemic in this country?
Find stories and ads dealing with obesity and weight-loss diets and compare them to the ads you found in the previous activity. Which do you feel are more effective in terms of marketing and explain why.
Create a newspaper advertising campaign for "Go Lean" patterned after the highly successful "Go Green" campaigns you've seen. What would you include in an ad promoting healthy diet choices?

Fast food chains Carl's Jr. and Hardees this week began test-marketing a foot-long cheeseburger to compete with Subway's foot-long subs and Sonic's Quarter Pound foot-long Coney. The price of $4 for the plain version and $4.50 for added mayo plus lettuce and tomato probably won't bust your budget, but it certainly will help bust your diet.

The new concoction, consisting of three hamburger patties and three slices of cheese on a sub sandwich roll, weighs in at about 870 calories, according to webMD:

  • 3 kid's cheeseburgers = 870 calories
  • 45 grams fat
  • 10.5 grams saturated fat,
  • 1.5 grams trans fat
  • 120 mg cholesterol
  • 3 grams fiber
  • 2,490 mg sodium.

The foot-long is being tested at about 100 stores in Indiana and southern California.

What the restaurant says: "Our core customers are young, hungry guys ages 18-34. They're not exactly fans of carrot sticks and lettuce wedges. At the end of the day, it really is about choice. . . . Yes, we do have salads. We just don't sell a lot."

-- Hardee's spokesperson
St. Louis Business Journal

What marketers say: The foot-long "is also a savvy marketing ploy that could vault the chain into the middle of the gross-out food wars and get it some much-needed buzz. . . . Quick, think of the last time Carl's introduced a product that was a huge popular hit and everyone was talking about it. Yeah. They need this."

-- BNet Insight

What webMD says: "Not surprisingly, three kid's cheeseburgers contain one day's limit of suggested trans fat, half a day's worth of calories, and more than half of the intake for cholesterol, saturated fat, and sodium recommended by most health agencies for an entire day."

-- WebMD

Front Page Talking Points is written by Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2015
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