Can Black Folk Afford to Eat This?

Sure, Americans like their cheese. From cream cheese to Brie to Gouda to processed cheese food, we appreciate cheese. But,  one restaurant chain may have broken the mold with its culinary machinations. No matter how much African Americans like cheese, can they afford to eat Denny’s new Mac n’ Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt: A burger patty layered with slices of cheese, macaroni and cheese, another layer of cheese, a tomato-based “frisco” sauce and two pieces of buttered-up potato bread. A whopping 1,690 calories. Oh, it comes with fries. One last thing to keep in mind: if that isn’t enough cheese, another 69 cents will get you extra cheese.

A quote from the company’s press release: “With America consuming around 8.8 billion pounds of cheese annually, Denny’s is answering to the appetites of the nation by introducing a dedicated menu that celebrates all things cheesy.”  The Mac n’ Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt’s 1,690 calories include 99 grams of fat, 36 of them saturated, 2010 milligrams of sodium, 126 grams of carbs, 11 grams of sugar, 7 grams of fiber and 64 grams of protein.

African Americans suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes at levels that exceed those of white Americans. An ongoing open debate questions whether the root causes are genetic or environmental. According to the New York Times, using a test that measures how sodium crosses the outer membrane of red blood cells, Harvard researchers found that young blacks with mild hypertension retained more of the mineral in their cells than their contemporaries with normal blood pressure. Those with excess sodium were also less efficient using insulin to metabolize sugars, suggesting a possible association between hypertension and diabetes, the researchers said.  Remember that when perusing the Denny’s menu.

According to NutriStrategy, in order to burn the calories consumed from this sandwich, a 180-pound person must:

  • Walk 3.5 mph for about 5 ½ hours (354 calories burned per hour)
  • Run 5 mph for 3 hours (654 calories burned per hour)
  • Swim (breaststroke) for about 3 ½ hours (572 calories burned per hour)
  • Low impact aerobics for about 4 hours (472 calories burned per hour)

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