Health

Hungry Jack's Summer Value Meal: Approach With Caution

At $3.95, the “Summer Value” meal from Hungry Jack’s is one of the cheaper burger meal deals we’ve seen. However, you’ll need to approach with caution and edit your selections if you don’t want to risk fattening up.

The Summer Value Meal, which the chain is heavily promoting right now, includes a Whopper Jnr burger, a small fries, and a small frozen Coke for $3.95. Given that you can easily pay that sum for a bottle of soft drink alone, it seems like an appealing offer.

The challenge, as is usually the case with takeaway burgers, is a dietary one. The basis we usually use for nutritional discussion around here is that a single lunch should contribute no more than 3000 kilojoules to your daily energy intake, and should contain no more than 30g of fat and 500mg of sodium. (Those figures vary slightly depending on your height and gender, but they serve as a reasonable basis for analysis.)

Taken in its standard form, the Summer Value meal blows out all three counts. The Whopper Jnr contains 1499 kilojoules, 76.9 grams of fat and 2181mg of sodium, so it beats the fat and salt totals even before anything else appears. Small fries add another 999Kj, and a small frozen Coke brings 1036Kj to the table. So even this meal — using one of the smallest burgers in the Hungry Jack’s range — would contribute 3534 kiojoules to your daily energy intake.

The obvious way to edit down the meal (and one we’ve often advocated before) is to ditch the drink. When I partook of a test Summer Value meal today, I didn’t even have to ask if I could substitute something else for the Frozen Coke; the first question out of my server’s mouth after I ordered was “What drink would you like?” Switching to Diet Coke dropped the kilojoule count back to a rather more acceptable 2500Kj.

Of course, I’m still soaking up a lot of fat and sodium with that meal, so it’s not something to do every day. But if you do want to test out the budget option, change your drink to minimise any potential calorific damage.