Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Who is to Blame?


Citizens of Brazil are on the edge of their seats and holding in their breaths. Back in 2010, a manager of McDonald's sues the fast food power house for $17,500 in damages. In his 12 years of employment, he has gained 65lbs of pure fat, due to the persistent testing McDonald's quality of food and the benefits of free lunches given to employees. The final verdict granted the manager $17,500. Even though receiving compensatory damages may be gratifying, but internally, the manager still has to live the life as an overweight victim. Today's discussion is on obesity and how obesity affects children.


Obesity is a major health issue that citizens all around the world are facing, especially in the US and among children. According to the Centers for Disease Control Prevention, "The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who were obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2010... In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese." (CDC, 2013). Fast food giant McDonald's, claim that "...childhood obesity is a complex societal problem, and not its fault" (Hartman, 2010). This is true and false. What makes this statement partially true is that it's essentially up to the consumers on what they want to put into their bodies and the amount of consumption a consumer chooses to put in their bodies. On the other hand, fast food franchises heavily advertise to children in various ways such as TV ads, fliers, billboards, social network sites, email, and other forms of promotional communication.  McDonald's ethical standards are called into question when McDonald's may form a link between other firms such as Marvel studios; to influence children to visit their location and collect action-figures. Another form advertisement directed towards children is when McDonald's may hire child actors/actresses to promote their brand.

McDonald's has made efforts of expanding their menu items with "healthy" choices by incorporating, fruit smoothies, salads, yogurt, and other items. This may seem attractive, but do not let the words fool you. This is very misleading in some cases. Consumers have to check the nutritional facts of the menu items before making a purchase. For example, McDonald's fruit smoothies range between 43 and 47 grams of sugar for a small cup(12 fl .oz). For large cup smoothies, there is between 67 and 74 grams of sugar. That's diabetes waiting to happen.  Another example is their salads. I know what you are thinking. There's nothing wrong with eating lettuce or spinach with some cheese and light dressing. Well there's no such thing as "light" when it comes to the foods that McDonald's produces. McDonald's Premium Southwest Salad with crispy Chicken is 450 calories and 190 of those calories comes from fat. Approximately 42% of the salad is fat. That's unbelievable. McDonald's manages to convert a healthy food item into the problem of modern day society. .

Children are easily influenced by the messages that McDonald's advertises to them. It's a sad sight to see children who have diabetes or any other health issues that has derived from the over consumption of food, particularly fast food. Do not succumb to the subliminal messages that are portrayed in various forms of advertisement. It starts with you. Consumers, you do have a choice. Choose to make healthier decisions. Not being part of a miserable and depressed crowd that wishes they were not the way they are. Whenever McDonald's is mentioned into the long term effects of over consumption of their products, who is to blame?

Thank you for reading. Feel free to make comments...

Sincerely,

Jahleel Barnes (JB)

4 comments:

  1. it very difficult to believe that McD fans feel that what they’re eating is in any way healthful.

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  2. Thank you for the comment. It is unbelievable to me how McDonald's has effectively manipulated some of the conusmer's minds of the health benefits of some of their menu items. But people only look at the outside of the food and say "it's a salad. It has vegetables. Therefore it's healthy." Some do not look at the real nutritional facts of the additional food products that are in the salad such as the dressing. Or when it comes to the smoothies, people do not think about how much sugar is in the smoothie. But as I mentioned before, McDonald's has done a very good job at doing so, which is why they are the number 1 fast food restaurant in the USA and also why 1 out of 3 kids are overweight or obese.

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  3. Your post reminds me of the movie Super Size Me. I think it is helpful that fast food restaurants are posting the calories on the menu. That is a start even though it is still the consumers' choice what they eat.

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  4. Yes. That movie was insane. I will never forget the ending when they kept a burger inside of a glass container for a week and saw how moldy burger would get. At the same time, the fries were still intact the entire week. It baffles me how much preservatives are in some of their menu items

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