The Huge Meal Donald Trump Reportedly Orders At McDonald's

Many of us love a fast food binge. Whether it's a convenient drive to a nearby major chain for an energy boosting Monday morning breakfast, or a steady stroll to a local restaurant for a greatly deserved Friday night treat, the pleasurable bites of naughty, fatty foods deliver their own unique joy. Research compiled by QSR Magazine shows industry titans such as McDonald's, Subway, and Taco Bell rule the roost when it comes to fast food chains, but data revealed by Eat This, Not That! suggests independent establishments remain popular. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 87% of people ordered from a specific restaurant to help its finances.

World leaders, on the other hand, are going to expect world-leading gourmet dining — or so you might think. The most regal in society are stereotypically aligned with eating in luxurious, astoundingly expensive hotels and restaurants reserved exclusively for the elite. For instance, Donald Trump was known to frequent a fine-dining establishment during his term as president. In fact, he went to exactly one D.C. restaurant in those four years — the BLT Prime steakhouse in his own Trump Hotel (via Washingtonian). His regular order wasn't particularly fancy, shrimp cocktail, well-done steak, and fries. It sounds like Trump was pining for his campaign trail McDonald's order whenever he sat down at his hotel's steakhouse. According to Business Insider, the 45th U.S. president would get a McDonald's order of extraordinary proportions, filled with salt, fat, and a surprising amount of fish.

Donald Trump's McDonald's order is incredibly unhealthy

Despite the culinary wonders undoubtedly provided by the hotels and golf courses he owns across the globe, Trump still relies on McDonald's for fuel (via Investopedia). This was especially true when he was running for president. Business Insider reported Trump's mammoth order as two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish burgers, and a large chocolate milkshake. All in all, the artery-clogging meal is estimated as containing an almost impressive 2,430 calories.

To put that into context, a moderately active man of Trump's age needs 2,200 calories a day, according to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. An analysis by Eat This, Not That! shows Trump's McDonald's order is packed with poor nutrition, including 111 grams of fat, 102 grams of sugar, and 3,480 milligrams of sodium. Not only is Trump getting more calories than he needs from just one meal, but he's also getting an overabundance of sugar and sodium. 

The FDA's "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" recommends that people get 10% of their calories from added sugars. For Trump, that would be 220 calories maximum. Sugar has four calories per gram, so Trump's McDonald's order includes 408 calories from sugar alone (via Livestrong). Also, "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" says sodium intake shouldn't exceed 2,300 milligrams a day.

To be fair, Trump doesn't eat the buns from his McDonald's order

Trump didn't always eat McDonald's while jetting from one campaign stop to another, but anyone concerned about the president's health won't be impressed with his non-McDonald's options. The 2017 book "Let Trump Be Trump," the tell-all that revealed that infamous two Big Mac, two Filet-O-Fish order, also mentioned the "four major food groups" on Trump's plane: "McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, pizza, and Diet Coke" (via The Washington Post).  

Trump has gotten a lot of flak for his McDonald's order, due to its poor nutritional value and sheer enormity. Business Insider published a first-hand account of one writer's journey eating the entire thing. He took more than an hour to finish, pushing himself far beyond the point where he was full and succeeding only thanks to stubborn pride. 

Business Insider might have had an easier time with Trump's dinner, and Eat This, Not That! might have been less judgmental of its nutritional value, if they hadn't overlooked something about Trump's McDonald's order that one of the authors of "Let Trump Be Trump" told CNN — Trump didn't eat the buns. So, before the ex-president accuses us of "fake news," we present the revised calorie count for Trump's McDonald's order: 1,880 calories.  

Donald Trump likes fast food because it's all-American

It may be the case that dietary concerns are not at the forefront of Trump's mind when buying food. According to Showbiz Cheat Sheet, Trump believes that fast food chains have a high standard of hygiene, helping alleviate his fear of germs. He is also afraid of being poisoned, and McDonald's is good for that because he can have someone run to the local fast food joint unannounced to pick up something pre-made.

Perhaps the best thing about fast food for an American president, in terms of public image, is its relatability. Trump is a billionaire with glittering towers around the world that bear his name — but hey, he likes McDonald's and KFC, too. "It goes with his authenticity," Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway said (via The New York Times). "I don't think Hillary Clinton would be eating Popeye's biscuits and fried chicken."

When the Clemson University football team visited the White House in 2019 to celebrate its national championship, Trump famously fed them hundreds of burgers and chicken nuggets from nearby fast food outlets (via Daily Mail). It's "great American food," Trump said, explaining this unusually pedestrian White House feast. "If it's American, I like it."