BTW, although the addition of the Adult Happy Meal (pedometer included...gee, where'd that idea come from?), low-fat dressings, and the removal of
the "Super Size" option happened almost immediately after the buzz from "Super Size Me" began gaining momentum, McDonald's says it had absolutely
nothing to do with the documentary... uh-huh
I thought a lot of people missed the point of Super Size Me--although the focus was clearly McDonalds, Spurlock was indicting people who carelessly
eat high-fat, high-calorie food every day and then are surprised when their organs start falling out. He clearly made the point that abusing food is
as dangerous as abusing alcohol or drugs as his McDonald's binge caused his liver to behave as if he had been on a bender. One of the three doctors
he was consulting even commented how it was if he was commiting suicide with food just like Nicholas Cage's character did with liquor in "Leaving
The film also pointed out how education is the main issue--or rather, lack thereof. And this is where McDonald's is really taking advantage of
consumer ignorance. With their attempts to establish a more health
, instead of actually offering healthier food, they have just adopted branding that will give customers the perception that their
food is healthier. Ronald McDonald may be thinner and wearing a track
but he probably didn't get that way from eating anything at McDonalds.
The "healthy" image is all marketing BS. Go look at the McDonald's
And don't be fooled by the bizarre way they have their nutritional facts table scrambled. Interesting how they serve the salad to you all in one
bowl but for some reason they list all of the ingredients separately. Unless you do further research or are familiar with their products, you won't
know how to combine the calorie counts. And notice how they only do this for the "healthy" options. For the traditional offerings, they don't
list the bun separately from the meat or the value of each individual fry. Nothing to hide there--and Big Mac eaters really could care less about
If you order a California Cobb Salad with Crispy Chicken from McDonalds healthier "Premium Salads" menu, the McCounter Person will hand you a bag
and in it, you will find a heart attack waiting to happen. 540 calories and 28 grams of fat. A Quarter Pounder with Cheese has 510 calories and 25
fat grams. Unless you say you want grilled instead of crispy chicken, hold the croutons, the bleu cheese, and substitute low-fat for the creamy
dressing, you get the standard salad which is anything but healthy.
What kind of band of raving idiots endeavor to make a healthy salad and then assemble something that has the same nutritional value as a Quarter
Pounder with cheese, aka the Creme Brulee of hamburgers? Okay, you'd have to be a bit clueless to think that just because cheese and bacon are
piled on top of lettuce they automatically become healthy, but you'd be surprised at how many people out there that bow to the supreme authority of
healthy-looking green signs. And its not that much cheese and bacon... most people don't know that a tiny one ounce morsel of cheese is 200
calories--and so is one strip of bacon.
The reality is that in the interest of flavor, McDonalds has purposely gone out of their way to make their salads as unhealthy as possible with bacon,
buttered croutons, fried breaded chicken, and cheese. I'm surprised they don't deep fry the lettuce.
And don't even get me started on the chicken sandwiches. The Grilled Chicken Club has more calories than a Big Mac. I bet the folks back in Oak
Brook are getting a good laugh over this one ("Bacon. Cheese. Good for you. Bwahahahaha!!!")
Sure, someone who has an above average aptitude when it comes to nutrition can go into McDonalds and special order
something healthier than the
standard menu choices. But is the regular Joe going to study the nutritional table prior to ordering and discover that the "healthy" crispy chicken
isn't just a more crunchy version of the "healthy" grilled chicken? Are they going to sum up all of the salad ingredients from the multiple
sections to find out how many calories and how much fat they are eating? Are most people going to know to leave off the croutons, bacon, and cheese
and pay the same for a bowl of wilted lettuce with that funny been-in-the-package-too-long taste? And although there is only one nutritionally
acceptable Grilled Chicken sandwich on the menu, are people going to be able to pick it out of a list of the other 5 options with healthy sounding
names, all included on the healthy section of the menu, but for some reason are deep fried, layered with bacon, cheese, and creamy dressings?
I doubt it. People are going to see salad and chicken and assume that it has to be better than hamburgers and french fries. And, OOOooOO--that
"healthy" chicken option has bacon.
As if the proximity to chicken makes bacon healthy.
Then again, I really don't think that anyone goes to McDonalds because they want to eat healthy or lose weight. If someone who wants to eat healthy
is stuck with no other choice, they can make do with the slim pickins' at Mickey D's, but their menu is certainly not an every day option as in
order to reduce calories, you wind up with tiny portions.
One of the women who did go to McDonalds to lose weight, Soso Whaley, did so because she was so disturbed by what she perceived as a smear campaign
being waged by Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock. She was so incensed that she was compelled to act (of all the unsupported and desperate causes
in the world, this wackjob chooses to defend one of the largest multi-national companies in existence... ) She made a documentary about her
experience--Me & Mickey D's... more here
. With all the references to
personal responsibility it seems that a) she didn't see the film and b) she has a different axe to grind. It is the National Review after all.
It seems that she adopted a yoyo diet strategy after she binged during the holidays and when her weight was "getting out of control." She claims to
have lost 6 to 10 pounds each of the 3 times she went on her 30-day McDonald's diet by eating a variety of McDonald's choices, including the
aforementioned California Cobb salad with Crispy Chicken, the Big & Tasty with Cheese (520 calories/26 grams of fat) and Medium Chocolate shake with
medium fries (1120 calories/34 fat grams). Her strategy was to stay under 2000 calories a day and exercise moderately.
Losing weight is pretty scientific--lower your caloric intake, increase your activity, and you will lose weight. If she went from eating five pints
of Haagen Dazs and a whole suckling pig every day to a 2000 calorie a day diet of hamburgers, milk shakes, blue cheese and french fries (and that
would be all of her food for the day), accompanied with exercize, sure she is going to lose some weight. Is it healthy? Uhhh... that would be no.
When I was 16, I found the Victoria Principal bikini diet in Cosmo and used it to lose 6 lbs in a week before a vacation. The total amount of food I
had eaten in the seven days prior to my trip could fit in a coffee cup--along with my bikini. If it wasn't for the dizziness, disorientation, and
fainting--and not to mention the starving and near intolerable food cravings, I guess you could call this a successful diet too.
And like my crazy bikini diet, Whaley and others like her
are using McDonalds to lose weight are not eating healthy, no matter what the big green sign over the counter says. Just because something has
lettuce or chicken in it doesn't mean it is good for you.