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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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November 6th, 2013
06:04 PM ET

Burger King takes on the Big Mac

When it comes down to it, isn't life just the downtime between McRib promotions? The beloved limited-time-offer sandwich has reportedly begun making its return to the menu at certain McDonald's franchises.

But wait - Burger King is offering something it calls the BBQ Rib sandwich, and restaurants are offering it for about a third of what the McRib costs.

And that's not the only processed meat homage Burger King is making to its rival – the Big King, once a limited-time offer at Burger King, is now on the menu full time. It has two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce - all the same stuff as a Big Mac.

Except - it's 510 calories, 40 calories lighter than the Big Mac.

"The food giants know that when they spar with each other, it's a bloodless sparring on their part, and we are the ones that eat more. It generates buzz for the whole industry," said Michael Moss, New York Times investigative reporter and author of "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us"

But consumers may view the Big King as nothing more than a Big Mac ripoff.

"Burger King is betting that their customers like their products. And what they're looking to do is generate more excitement for people who already like Burger King," said Moss.

For more of our interview with Michael Moss, check out the video above.

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