For most kids, they're an all-time favorite. Fast food chicken nuggets. But parents might think twice about serving them after learning exactly what's in them.
"This is cartilage. This is gastrointestinal tissue. There's all kinds of random stuff in there that's not chicken meat," said Dr. Richard deShazo, a professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
He has studied chicken nuggets at two popular Jackson fast food restaurants and it's been published under the title The Autopsy of Chicken Nuggets Reads "Chicken Little" in The American Journal of Medicine. Dr. deShazo says chicken nuggets are very high in fat, salt and sugar.
Chicken is supposed to be a healthy meat source and protein rich, and it is, until it's processed. "We have great Mississippi chicken. The problem is it get adulterated."
So the biggest question now, where did Dr. deShazo get the chicken nuggets he studied? People want to know, but he's not telling. "I'm seriously not telling because the food lobby is a very powerful lobby."
Also, Dr. deShazo says he would expect similar autopsy results from almost all fast food restaurants serving chicken nuggets, but he says some restaurants' chicken nuggets have better content than others.
Dr. deShazo emphasizes his conclusions are not an attack on the fast food industry. "I don't think they're demons or bad people. I think they're trying to make money. I think they're trying to give us what we want."
What Dr. deShazo recommends is that people become more informed about the nutritional choices they make, and the consequences, if those choices are unwise. "We are eating ourselves to death in Mississippi. We have the highest rates of obesity, heart attack and diabetes," he said.
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