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Fast Food Vindication Paperback – October 4, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

LISA TILLINGER JOHANSEN spent seven years as a real estate manager for McDonald’s Corporation before enrolling at California State University Los Angeles and earning a Master’s Degree in Nutritional Science. Now a Registered Dietitian at Kaiser Permanente, Johansen teaches nutrition classes and counsels patients on a wide range of health issues. She lives in Southern California.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: J Murray Press (October 4, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578110431
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578110431
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,200,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By FredTownWard VINE VOICE on April 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As a Big Boned American (and at 53 those bones are amazingly still growing!) I have been struggling with obesity most of my adult life, but I never bought into those wacko conspiracy theories that fast foods were the cause of it all...

because I knew I didn't eat fast food often enough for that to be the real problem. Now Dr. Johansen's book comes along to debunk the whole theory. Along with pointing out some of the usually overlooked real benefits provided to society by fast food companies like good career and advancement opportunities (Seriously), a diverse workforce (and a diverse management), support for a number of charities, etc. (One benefit I know that she missed was the fast food industry's contribution to food safety overseas because they take their fanatical US cleanliness standards everywhere they go.), she systematically examines the data.

As it turns out, fast food restaurants are some of the healthiest (or at least the least unhealthy) places to eat, in contrast to sit down restaurants or eating at home, and a big reason is portion size. Not that fast food restaurant portions are not too large; in too many cases they clearly are, but because fast food portions tend to be measurably smaller than those at sit down restaurants or in too many of our own homes. (One of the secrets to fast food restaurant profitability from the very beginning was strict portion control, which with portion up-sizing running rampant, means fast food portion up-sizing has lagged a bit behind everyone else.)

Of course it isn't just portion size, it is what we choose to eat, and a lot of fast food entrees are unhealthy for regular consumption (if it's fried, it's bad for you, alas), but we already knew this. The good news is that thanks to nutritional labeling laws (Dr.
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Format: Paperback
For many years the fast food industry, headed by McDonald's, has been the whipping boy de jour for many, receiving criticism for everything from poor working terms and conditions to their effects on modern-day diets. True or false? Maybe like most things it is something in-between.

Here is a book that takes a bit of a contrary view. Those seeking a conspiracy will note that the author had worked at McDonald's for seven years (as a real estate manager) before changing careers, getting a degree in nutritional science and now works as a registered dietician. Certainly the author is swimming against the tide with a reasoned defence against the criticism that engulfs the fast food industry.

Who is right and who is wrong. Certainly there is a lot of research going against her, but you only need to read the health stories in your local newspaper and it seems that one day X is going to give you cancer and yet another day X will help you against cancer. Many people take a bit of a middle-of-the-road approach and follow the old maxim that a little in moderation will do no harm. The author does not seem to advocate particularly a pro- or anti- opinion throughout this book although to many it may be an heretical view regardless. Instead an element of personal responsibility combined with informed decisions seems to be the way forward. As the author notes, "It's important for all of us to take a good hard look at our diets. What did you eat today? Where did you eat it? Was the food nutritious or not so much? How about portion sizes and how the food was prepared? Were you on target there? These are important questions and definitely something to think about.
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Format: Kindle Edition
So, this isn't your usual weekend read but it is a discussion that deserves some attention. Seeing that the writer is qualified in her field, she presents her arguments well and you are able to understand her point well. But I have my reservations. How does one book go against years, and years of research? What am I missing? Or is this an argument that offers middle-term solutions? Obviously, I still have many questions after reading the book and might just reread for this sake.

Overall, the book was well-written and all sections flowed smoothly. The only thing that prevents me from giving it the full 5 stars, is that a lot of the statistics are US-based. I would have liked to international statistics or even global responses.

Would I recommend this read? Oh yes, definitely. The author has raised some excellent points that need to be heard.

Overall assessment:
Content: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Formatting: 4/5
Pacing: 4/5
Offensive content?: PG, just so the arguments in the book are understood properly.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author through Orangeberry Book Tours. I did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was I obliged to write a positive one.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I am so glad there is a book like this in print. Honestly! I am like the majority of Americans--I love fast food. My daughter used to drag me to McDonald's at least once a week. And when I was overweight (and obese--Yikes!), I didn't think twice about eating all the unhealthy calories. But then I began my healthy eating plan (which I still basically follow), and I discovered that fast food did not always mean it was unhealthy. And about that same time, the movement to crush the fast food industry began. And I got sick to death of hearing about people who claimed that a certain restaurant made them fat and on and on. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And evidently, Lisa Tillinger Johansen couldn't either.

I love the fact that this book actually takes the opposite view of the mass media. She has experience working for the McDonald's corporation, and she has the inside track on much of the fast food industry. Imagine a health professional actually telling you that it was all right to eat at a fast food place. In fact, you might eat healthier there than at a sit-down restaurant or even at home! I've known this for a long time, and I now have the evidence to back it up. She lays out her case very well, and she covers many different aspects of the fast food industry. Evidently, fast food is not the demon that is trying to kill Americans. The blame goes on us. What a novel idea! Imagine taking responsibility for your own actions rather than blaming it on someone else.

I am so pleased that this book is easy to read, well-organized, and simple to understand. I plan to keep this and refer to it from time to time. I know a lot of the things she spoke about, but some of her recommendations were new to me. I also love the facts she shares about the industry itself.
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