News / Health

    Study: Not So Much Chicken in Chicken Nuggets

    A recent analysis of two chicken nuggets from two popular restaurants revealed they only contained 40 to 50 percent meat. (<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Foster_Farms_breast_nuggets_frozen.JPG">Creative Commons</a>)
    A recent analysis of two chicken nuggets from two popular restaurants revealed they only contained 40 to 50 percent meat. (<a href="http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Foster_Farms_breast_nuggets_frozen.JPG">Creative Commons</a>)

    Related Articles

    Over a Billion Tons of Food Wasted Annually

    New FAO report cites environment and economic consequences

    Video Lifestyle Changes Could Lengthen Telomeres, Life

    Test subjects who went on a health kick saw their telomeres lengthen

    Compound in Vegetables Protects Against Radiation

    Substance in vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli protected rats and mice from lethal doses of radiation
    That chicken nugget you’re eating may only contain 40 to 50 percent meat, according to a new study that analyzed chicken nuggets from two major fast-food chains.

    What made up the rest of the nuggets? Researchers said “fat, skin, connective tissue, blood vessels, nerves and bone fragments.”

    While all edible, the ingredients don't add up to a good choice, said Dr. Richard deShazo, a professor of medicine, pediatrics and immunology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where the analysis took place.

    “I was floored,” deShazo said. “I had read what other reports have said is in them, and I didn’t believe it. I was astonished actually seeing it under the microscope.”

    White chicken meat is one of the best sources of lean protein available, deShazo said, and physicians often encourage their patients to eat it.

    “What has happened is that some companies have chosen to use an artificial mixture of chicken parts rather than low-fat chicken white meat, batter it up and fry it, and still call it chicken. It is really a chicken by-product high in calories, salt, sugar and fat that is a very unhealthy choice. Even worse, it tastes great and kids love it and it is marketed to them,” he said.

    For the examination, deShazo worked with Dr. Steven Bigler, a pathologist at Baptist Health Systems in Jackson, Mississippi, who stained, fixed, sliced and analyzed the nugget sections.

    In their paper, the physicians wrote that meat constituted about half of nugget No. 1.

    “The nugget from the first restaurant was composed of approximately 50 percent skeletal muscle, with the remainder composed primarily of fat, with some blood vessels and nerve present. Higher-power views showed generous quantities of epithelium and associated supportive tissue including squamous epithelium from skin or viscera,” they wrote.

    “The nugget from the second restaurant was composed of approximately 40 percent skeletal muscle. Here, too, there were generous quantities of fat and other tissue, including connective tissue and bone spicules.”

    DeShazo cautions that the experiment wasn’t designed as a comprehensive study of nuggets from all major fast-food chains. Nor do the results from two randomly selected nuggets from two prominent chains represent all chicken nugget offerings available.

    The National Chicken Council (NCC), a national, non-profit trade association representing the U.S. chicken industry echoed that sentiment.

    “This study evaluates only two chicken nugget samples out of the billions of chicken nuggets that are made every year,” said Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., the NCC vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs.  “It is not scientifically justifiable to make inferences about an entire product category given a sample size of two.”

    She added that NCC members “use quality ingredients and adhere to all food safety laws and regulations” to create nuggets.

    “Chicken nuggets are an excellent source of protein, especially for kids who might be picky eaters,” she said.

    The American Journal of Medicine published deShazo's findings online in September ahead of its print issue.

    Here's a short video about the analysis:

    You May Like

    Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    Half-million motorcycles are expected to rumble Sunday afternoon from Pentagon to Vietnam War Memorial for rally in event group calls Ride for Freedom

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

    Video Canine Reading Buddies Help Students With Literacy

    Idea behind reading program is that sharing book with nonjudgmental companion boosts students' confidence and helps instill love of reading

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Markt
    October 23, 2013 2:07 PM
    I know I had never really liked any chicken nuggets from any fast food chain, now I know I will never eat another one. If I get the hankering for chicken, I will thaw out that package of chicken breasts from the freezer and grill them. You can't tell me there is bone and viscera in those...or I will throw a chicken wing at you....

    by: Fnord from: Stendec
    October 23, 2013 11:24 AM
    You know what they say ... "Parts is parts!"

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora