We’re all been asked the hypothetical question of what our last meal would be. But Cornell University researchers actually did a study on 193 last meal requests of convicts on death row from 2002-2006. The results were interesting and maybe not exactly what you’d expect.

Person holding a tray with a hamburger, fries, a cup of beverage, and condiment packets.
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Over Two-Thirds Ordered Fried Foods

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With its addicting qualities and the source of much of the obesity epidemic in the United States, it’s not hard to understand why someone would opt for a large serving of French fries for their last meal.

Five Times More Requests for Soda Than Milk

Pouring orange drink into a glass with ice cubes alongside other colorful cold beverages on a wooden table, reminiscent of the last meals of death-row convicts.
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To be honest, we’re surprised anyone would bother with milk over soda but maybe it would wash down some brownies or cookies for dessert, which was another popular request among inmates.

The Average Calorie Count was Just Over 2,750 Per Meal

A burger with sesame seed bun served with fries and sauce on a metal tray.
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Some requests exceeded 7,000 calories but the average came out around 2,700 calories and with the FDA’s daily recommended intake of 2,000 calories, it’s really not that far off considering it’s a last meal request.

Comfort Foods Were a Popular Choice

A plate of macaroni and cheese on a green plate.
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We can see this being the case as there’s probably an element of nostalgia in most of these requests.

More Than One-Third Requested Chicken

Grilled chicken breasts with lemon slices and herbs on a plate.
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The split in meats was pretty even but chicken won out in the end. As the most popular meat eaten in the US and one that’s easily made into many comfort dishes, this makes sense.

Almost 25% Asked for a Hamburger

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What goes better with those French fries than a greasy burger?

More Than 20% Asked for Steak

Air fryer skirt steak sliced on a cutting board.
Air Fryer Skirt Steak. Photo credit: Running to the Kitchen.

We hope it was a good cut like a juicy ribeye or a tender filet mignon.

Less Than 5% Requested Fast Food Chain Meals

Two hamburgers and fries on a tray.
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McDonald’s, KFC and Wendy’s were apparently the popular choices among those who wanted their last meals from fast food restuarants.

Requests Are Not Typically Elaborate or High End

A scoop of chocolate ice cream with a black spatula.
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Researchers speculated that the plain nature of the requests such as chocolate or vanilla ice cream vs. elaborate flavors from expensive brands might be a reflection of the socio-economic status of many of the inmates.

One Quarter Asked for a Salad as Part of Their Meal

Fresh caesar salad with croutons and shaved cheese on a white plate.
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This one baffles us. A salad? Really? We like our greens as much as the next person but as our last meal? Strange.

Brand Name Requests Were Common

A row of coca cola bottles lined up on a shelf.
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Specific brands like Coca-Cola were often requested as part of the meals. Researchers hypothesize this may be a coping mechanism to deal with the stress of the situation by surrounding themselves with something familiar. Or, they could just really hate the taste of Pepsi.

10 Food “Rules” That Have Turned Out To Be Completely Untrue

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We’ve all heard those age-old food “rules” that seem to get passed down from generation to generation—like waiting an hour after eating to swim or the idea that coffee stunts your growth. But how many of these culinary commandments hold up under the microscope of science? Spoiler alert: not as many as you’d think. Let’s debunk some of these food myths and shed light on what’s really true, so you can enjoy your meals without the side order of guilt.

See Them Here: 10 Food “Rules” That Have Turned Out To Be Completely Untrue

12 Iconic Foods From The 90s Every Millennial Loved

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Take a nostalgic trip back to the 90s with us as we revisit some of the most iconic snacks of the decade. From the gum that turned every kid into a bubble-blowing champion to the treats that were the highlight of every school lunch, these snacks defined a generation. Remember the excitement of unwrapping your favorite after-school snack?

See Them Here: 12 Iconic Foods From The 90s Every Millennial Loved

Foods You Should Eat According To Your Zodiac Sign

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Ever wondered if your zodiac sign could guide your dinner choices? Well, you’re in luck because we’re diving into the world of astrology to match each sign with the perfect meal. From fiery Aries craving something spicy to comfort-loving Cancers seeking out home-cooked warmth, we’ve got a dish recommendation for every sign.

See Them Here: Foods You Should Eat According To Your Zodiac Sign

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Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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