How Do You Know the Fat Content of Fast Foods?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires all restaurants with 20 or more locations to publish nutrition data on the food they serve. Fast food vendors that are part of a chain must follow this rule as well and typically offer the information both in their locations and on their Web sites. In addition, a number of independent organizations collect and publish nutrition information for popular restaurants.

While chain restaurants include caloric content on menus, as per FDA regulations, fat content is included in the complete nutrition information. The FDA requires each restaurant to publish the same information as on a standard Nutrition Facts label, including the food's fat content in grams as well as sugar, sodium, protein and other nutrients. Consumers can find this information by requesting it in the restaurant or by going to the restaurant's Web site. McDonald's, for instance, publishes their nutrition information in a PDF document that is available for download.

Independent organizations also publish this information on the Internet. The website Fast Food Nutrition includes complete nutrition information for many popular fast food restaurants. Consumers can select a restaurant chain and a menu item to see the complete nutrition information for that food or beverage.