Fast food is notoriously bad for you—and a major factor in America’s obesity epidemic—but not all drive-thru visits are equal, health-wise. On Flowing Data, stats nerd Nathan Yau crunched the numbers to figure out how different fast food restaurant menus stack up in terms of calorie counts, as WIRED recently highlighted.
Unlike some other breakdowns that compare the calories of specific fast food items or meal combinations, Yau’s visualization takes all the major menu items into account so you can see in general terms how restaurant menus stack up, as compared to seeing the calorie count of just your chicken tenders or double cheeseburger.
Click to see the larger version on Flowing Data. Image Credit: Nathan Yau via Flowing Data
Carl’s Jr. and Jack in the Box lead the pack, with some single menu items containing more than 1200 calories. McDonald’s, that much demonized symbol of American fatness, comes in third place. (Stay away from that Big Breakfast!) Surprisingly, the fried chicken empire of KFC keeps its menu relatively low-calorie compared to other restaurants, with its highest calorie meal, the chicken pot pie, containing around 800 calories. Of course, few people go to KFC for a single chicken drumstick, and in this chart’s case, it’s hard to tell exactly how much of your daily caloric intake you’d gobble up if you ordered a few sides, too.