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Fast Food Farce: Taco Bell Wants to be Viewed as Healthy

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Photo courtesy of Taco Bell
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The same fast food chain that has an advertising campaign based around the idea of the "fourth meal" and makes taco shells out of fried seasoned tortilla chips is hoping to revamp its image. Taco Bell promises that they are developing more healthy and balanced choices for their menus, and will be expanding on the same ideas that sparked their new line of "cantina bowls" that are endorsed by chef Lorena Garcia.

The change, of course, isn't exactly for ethical reasons. It turns out that offering healthy options draws traffic. The Hudson Institute found that lower-calorie options were a key indicator of growth at restaurant chains between 2006 and 2011. They found that chains that expanded their low-cal options saw customer traffic rise by 11 percent, whereas those those that didn't saw traffic decrease by 15 percent.

According to the Huffington Post, and wants to continue moving towards offering more healthful options.

By 2020, Taco Bell says 20 percent of its combo meals will meet nutritional guidelines for calories and fat set out by the federal government. That means a single meal would have about a third of the recommended intake of about 2,000 to 2,500 calories, based on the assumption that people eat three meals a day. The company did not know what portion of meals currently meet those guidelines.
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It's certainly not going to happen at lightning speed, but Taco Bell is joining the ranks of many fast food chains, including McDonald's, who are trying to evolve as our country's concerns over health grow.

But regardless of American concern over such things, fast food chains continue to export strange (and often disgusting-sounding) junk overseas. Today, for instance, Pizza Hut launched a "crunchy stuffed pizza," and don't forget about Wendy's lobster and caviar burgers. Which is cool because, you know, other countries can catch up to our alarming obesity rate, making us not look quite as bad.