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McDonald’s: Mexico versus US

I recently returned from lecturing at the annual Food Technology Summit and Expo held in Mexico City. I was speaking on the hidden costs of supersizing.  Portion sizes are a growing problem in Mexico as they are in the US; portion sizes have exploded there as well. It is no surprise that obesity rates are also very high in Mexico and resemble US obesity rates. Nearly 70% of Mexicans are either overweight or obese.

I was able to gather some nutrition and portion-size info from McDonald’s in Mexico and their menu looks much like ours (sigh!). Here is a summary:

  • Both McDonald’s in US and Mexico sell Big Macs and the Mexican Big Mac has around 30 calories more than the US version (569 calories in Mexico).
  • McDonald’s in Mexico offers a breakfast McMuffin a la Mexicana with 440 calories and 25 grams of fat.

  • Portions of French fries in the US are more caloric than those found in Mexico. The largest US size contains 500 calories while the largest size in found in McDonald’s in Mexico contains 410 calories.
  • Soda sizes are slightly larger in US McDonald’s than they are in Mexico but note the word slightly. In the US, the small, medium and large contain 150, 210, and 310 calories respectively. The Mexican soda portions contain 120, 200, and 280 calories respectively.
  • The McFlurry with OREO cookies in the US contains 580 calories–200 calories more than the Mexican version.
  • Like in the US, McDonald’s Mexico offers fried chicken nuggets in several sizes-4, 6, and 10 pieces.
  • McDonald’s Mexico offers a “Big Tasty” burger with over 800 calories! No wonder Mexicans are big!

Because so many Mexicans are overweight, diet food has become a craze there as well. Here is a photo from the frozen dietary dessert chain Tasti d lite, this one on Mazaryk Street in Mexico City.

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