Determining Omega-6 to Omega-3 Fatty Acid Ratios in Fast Food French Fries

The objective of this experiment was to determine how healthy fast food french fries from Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King, and Checkers are by comparing their omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios. Obesity is becoming a major problem in America, and this experiment supports the idea that fast food is a major part of the problem. Finding the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios in french fries helps determine how healthy they are. In this experiment, the fatty acids were extracted from the french fry samples and gas chromatography was used to calculate the omega-6 to omega-3 ratios. The omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios were also found in fish oil because it has the ideal ratio and could be used as a control. The results were analyzed using descriptive statistics to determine which french fry and fish oil samples were the most and least healthy and how the samples compared to each other. The results showed that all of the french fries had omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratios that were above the ideal ratio of 3 to 1 and all met or exceeded the 9 to 1 ratio at which foods start to cause negative health effects. French fries from Checkers were found to be the least healthy, followed by Burger King, McDonald’s, and then Wendy’s, which had the healthiest fries. The fish oil sample was contaminated and could not be analyzed in this experiment.

Research Done By:

Monica Hawkey
Warren Mott High School

Kaitlyn Pipp
Fraser High School

Nicole St. Louis
Warren Mott High School