The survey also included the German chain Kochloeffel, TheLocal.de reported Friday.
On a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the best, McDonald's was given an overall ranking of "satisfactory" with a score of 2.9. Burger King was ranked 3.1 and Kochloeffel was just behind at 3.2.
Burger King's Whopper was judged the tastiest burger. Panelists said they liked that it had been cooked over an open flame.
But when health was considered a factor, Burger King slipped and McDonald's -- thanks only to smaller portion sizes -- came out ahead.
The group, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, said all three chains serve food that's too fatty, salty and sugary.
They considered factors such as environmental friendliness, noting all three chains use excessive packaging.
The group said Burger King and Kochloeffel use palm oil that's produced on huge plantations that were probably created by destroying rainforests in South America.