Fast food is routinely blamed for the obesity epidemic and consequentially excluded from professional dietary recommendations. However, several sections of society including senior citizens, low-income adult and children, minority and homeless children, or those pressed for time appear to rely on fast food as an important source of meals. Considering the dependence of these nutritionally vulnerable population groups on fast food, we examined the possibility of imaginative selection of fast food, which would attenuate the potentially unfavorable nutrient composition. We present a sample menu to demonstrate that it is possible to design a fast food menu that provides reasonable level of essential nutrients without exceeding the caloric recommendations. We would like to alert health-care professionals that fast food need not be forbidden under all circumstances, and that a fresh look at the role of fast food may enable its inclusion in meal planning for those who depend on it out of necessity, while adding flexibility.
- Junk food