AR-News: CKE Restaurants Tout 'Low-Carb' Burger

jim robertson wolfcrest at
Wed Dec 17 18:04:13 EST 2003

CKE Restaurants Tout 'Low-Carb' Burger
Wed Dec 17, 3:00 AM ET  Add Business - AP to My Yahoo!

By JIM SUHR, AP Business Writer

ST. LOUIS - Hardee's and Carl's Jr. fast-food chains consider it thinking 
outside the bun — capitalizing on America's low-carbohydrate craze, they're 
launching a bunless, lettuce-wrapped burger with just a handful of carbs.

Related Links
• Photo: Low Carb Burger (

CKE Restaurants Inc., the chains' parent, has unveiled the new menu item as 
Americans look to lop off carbs, in everything from beer to ketchup. Not 
coincidentally, the rollout precedes Americans' traditional New Year effort 
to lose weight.

But dietitians are weighing in, warning that whether it's the Hardee's 
low-carb Thickburger, with a third of a pound of beef, or its Carl's Jr. 
low-carb, half-pound Six Dollar Burger cousin, consumers should chew on 
this: it's still high in fat and calories.

"We know healthwise a certain amount of fat is essential, but consuming a 
greater percentage of your calories from fat is not a healthy approach," 
said Connie Diekman, chief of university nutrition at St. Louis' Washington 
University. "Just culling out some calories and putting in more fat isn't 
going to get you there. In terms of healthy eating, this is not a healthy 

The low-carb burger, she said, "is a great gimmick but not a great change in 
eating behavior."

Caroline Leakan, a spokeswoman for Carpinteria, Calif.-based CKE, suggested 
the low-carb burgers have their place in a lifestyle that also includes 
regular exercise and a balanced diet.

"In many respects, our food is an indulgence," she said. "For some, a 
low-carb plan is just what they need to kick-start their diet. We're 
offering them a choice."

For the record, the low-carb Thickburger has about 420 calories, 32 grams of 
fat and 5 grams of carbs, compared with its original's 850 calories and 57 
fat grams. The low-carb Six Dollar Burger has 490 calories, 37 grams of fat 
and 6 grams of carbs. The regular? About 960 calories, 62 fat grams and 61 
carbohydrate grams.

Low-carb, high-protein diets have enjoyed a resurgence, with books such as 
"Atkins for Life" reversing decades of dietary advice and saying the way to 
lose weight is to cut out carbs in favor of high-protein diets.

Prices of both burgers will be identical to their conventional, same-sized 


On the Net (news - web sites):

CKE Enterprises,

Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine,

Agriculture Department,

In fact, if one person is unkind to an animal it is considered to be 
cruelty, but where a lot of people are unkind to animals, especially in the 
name of commerce, the cruelty is condoned and, once large sums of money are 
at stake, will be defended to the last by otherwise intelligent people.
-- Ruth Harrison, author of Animal Machines

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