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Bite-sized news: BK debuts new menu, Beckham ad and the fast food-depression connection

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

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Can David Beckham entice you to eat at Burger King? It's worth a shot! Also, is fast food related to depression? Read what one study reveals.
David Beckham in Burger King commercial

Burger King: A smoothie for Becks, and oh yeah, a new lower-calorie menu

Among the lower-calorie menu items available at Burger King:

  • Chicken tenders (360 calories)
  • Chicken wraps (370-390 calories)
  • A Caesar salad (490 calories)
  • Two options of fruit smoothies (310-330 calories for 16 ounces)

Burger King unveiled a new menu in the U.S. that includes more than a dozen lower-calorie selections. The options are pretty close to those found at another restaurant -- you know -- the one with the arches?

It seems that McDonald’s is the innovator in menu changes, having rolled out lower-calorie options in 2003. Burger King hasn’t made this many additions to the menu since they opened in 1954.

Along with menu enhancements, the company also tweaked and improved other areas of its business, including digital menu boards, new employee uniforms and new packaging.

Hottie in an ad spot

Saving what just may be the best news for last, Burger King also has a few new commercials to help promote its new menu. What’s so special about that? Well, the ad TV viewers are seeing lately features soccer superstar hottie David Beckham.

According to the company’s website, “David Beckham heats up the front counter when he orders a cool, healthy Real Fruit Smoothie.” A lot of viewers had hoped the Beckham ad would reveal a little more of Becks, but we'll have to make do for now!

Would you like a side of depression with your fries?

Fast food restaurants are offering up more than what you pay for, one study shows -- and we’re not talking collectable toys to take home. What do you get for the price of a fast food feast? How about depressed.

If your main concern about eating fast food is consuming a lot of calories and fat, hold on to your sesame-seed bun. A recent study published in the Journal of Public Health Nutrition reveals that people who eat fast food regularly feel depressed.

The study connecting fast food and depression notes that people who often eat burgers, hotdogs and pizza are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than people who rarely or never eat them. “The more fast food you consume, the greater the risk of depression,” Almudena Sanchez-Villegas, lead author of the study, said in a statement.

Those participating in the study (9,000 people who had never been diagnosed with depression) showed other consistencies: They were less active, smoked and worked more than 45 hours a week.

Sad woman eating junk food

Take comfort?

Why do you think they call fast food, comfort food? “Higher intake of fast food may very well increase risks of depression by causing poor health in general,” said Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center. “But depression may also increase fast food intake.”

Surely there must be factors other than French fries and burgers involved with depression, but a home-cooked meal never looked so good.

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Photo credit: Burger King via WENN.com
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