100 lb. Club - What is McD's thinking?




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Eliana
04-08-2011, 02:06 PM
I drove through McD's the other day and could not believe my eyes when I looked at the menu. They now have a value meal for TWO fish sandwiches at 380 calories each! :yikes: You get TWO fish sandwiches, a medium fry and a medium drink. If we stick with the medium (and you know folks are super sizing this!), and if the medium drink is a Coke I calculated it out to 1350 calories in one meal!! :yikes:

What are they thinking? I thought these places were trying to be better about portion control! Why on earth would they offer two sandwiches? It's not like the fish sandwich is small. The hamburger I would understand...


MusicalJess
04-08-2011, 02:09 PM
I'll give you three words:

Money, money, money....

I work at McDonalds and eveything about the company is money. They love making it and hate spending it.

Eliana
04-08-2011, 02:14 PM
I'll give you three words:

Money, money, money....

I work at McDonalds and eveything about the company is money. They love making it and hate spending it.

Were you just shocked when you saw this the first time? I admit, that was my favorite value meal. :( I love their awful fish sandwich! And my 10 year old? He requested McD's the other day and said, "Mom, I'll eat healthy. I'd like to try their fish." I snorted and he said, "What? Fish is the healthiest thing you can eat." So sad!! It should be!


MusicalJess
04-08-2011, 02:17 PM
I haven't seen that. I work in UK. But thats crazy. They have very few healthy options. Well its salad, salad, or erm salad.

And if you saw the way they cook the fish (I dunno about McD's you go to but where I a work) you'd not wanna eat it. Its frozen and they just stick it in a vat of oil. Bleurgh!

ilidawn
04-08-2011, 02:18 PM
Hmm... I think if I do get it I'll take one sandwich and my roomie can have the other, the soda and fries.

FitGirlyGirl
04-08-2011, 02:19 PM
I'm no longer shocked by anything the fast food places do anymore. I just avoid them entirely. I haven't had fast food in I don't even know how long and I do not miss. I occasionally go to sonic for a diet cherry limeade. That is my only interaction with the fast food industry these days.

seagirl
04-08-2011, 02:22 PM
why do they sell guns that can kill people at top speeds without reloading?

because people want to buy them.

nationalparker
04-08-2011, 02:25 PM
It's been years since I've been to fast food other than Subway, so not up on their offerings, but you know there's an audience for it or they wouldn't offer it. Sad, but true. Get the fish crowd for Lent!

kateleestar
04-08-2011, 02:40 PM
Ugh, that made me barf a little.. EW.

MiZTaCCen
04-08-2011, 02:41 PM
MEh I'll stick with my big mac and extra cheese, regular root beer and fries. haha If i'm going to eat at a fast food place and endulge I'm going to do it the right way. :p Every place you eat at, unless it's at home is jacked up in calories so it really doesn't matter anymore. Just stay clear of it or enjoy it once in a while.

Eliana
04-08-2011, 02:42 PM
I'm no longer shocked by anything the fast food places do anymore. I just avoid them entirely. I haven't had fast food in I don't even know how long and I do not miss. I occasionally go to sonic for a diet cherry limeade. That is my only interaction with the fast food industry these days.

Yeah, my only fast food place is Subway or McD's for their grilled chicken on rare occasions. I am guilty of loving their Sundaes though, and they're the lowest calorie Sundae's I've found.

Eliana
04-08-2011, 02:43 PM
It's been years since I've been to fast food other than Subway, so not up on their offerings, but you know there's an audience for it or they wouldn't offer it. Sad, but true. Get the fish crowd for Lent!

Lent! You're right!! That's why it's out now. Oh, that's so sad. I bet it's gone after Easter.

geoblewis
04-08-2011, 02:47 PM
So, did you know that a Snicker's Bar is lower in sugar and carbs than the McDonald's oatmeal?

I don't do fast food any more...and my life is so much better for it!!!!!!

aimeebell
04-08-2011, 03:03 PM
I don't know.....I don't get why we put the responsibility on fast food restaurants It is McDonald's....is anyone expecting healthy?

The only fast food that is worth it to me is the Wendy's spicy chicken sandwich minus the mayo, just cause I hate mayo, and once in awhile I get two fresco steak soft tacos from Taco Bell. The tacos aren't really "worth it." But sometimes I need fast, low-cal, and filling, and those fit the bill.

Nikki6kidsmom
04-08-2011, 03:21 PM
Just thinking about the grease,fat and calories grosses me out.

Nola Celeste
04-08-2011, 03:38 PM
Yeah, it's a gross amount of food and calories, but fast-food places wouldn't sell the stuff in such volume if people didn't consume it that way. They're in the business of providing the people what they want.

I was frequently guilty of ordering a value meal PLUS a snack wrap PLUS a dessert item when I went to McDonald's. That isn't Mickey D's fault, that's mine. Ronald McDonald didn't mash those 1800 calories into my face, I did. And now that I've stopped doing it, I see how much of my money and my health I wasted doing it. Shame on me, though--not on McDonald's.

I've read a lot about increasing pressure on fast food places to provide healthier options. When they try to, the healthier stuff doesn't sell as well as the grossly overstuffed items. I can't blame them for not focusing more on health when the populace says one thing, but does another.

I DO object a little to some of the "healthy" things that aren't--800-calorie salads, taco salads with 4-digit calorie totals, that new oatmeal that's basically a bowl of candy, and such. It's all too easy to cruise in and grab a salad thinking you're getting a smart lunch and instead blowing your caloric budget apart. The simple fix is to label at least the lighter (or "lighter") menu items with calorie counts. A better fix would be to offer salads that had normal calorie counts.

Iianae
04-08-2011, 04:01 PM
did you know that a Snicker's Bar is lower in sugar and carbs than the McDonald's oatmeal?


WOW is this TRUE?!

tsuninight
04-08-2011, 04:04 PM
They're in the business of providing the people what they want. ...

I've read a lot about increasing pressure on fast food places to provide healthier options. When they try to, the healthier stuff doesn't sell as well as the grossly overstuffed items. I can't blame them for not focusing more on health when the populace says one thing, but does another.

The simple fix is to label at least the lighter (or "lighter") menu items with calorie counts. A better fix would be to offer salads that had normal calorie counts.

THIS!

A thing I consider good news:

The FDA is working on putting through a bill I think that will require all chain resteraunts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2011/04/01/AFOxCkHC_story.html

I think this is good stuff. My only concern is that if they sell alcohol (my understanding) they won't have to label their menus with calorie counts. I think they should... and that includes for every single alcoholic beverage, because man I really don't think ppl have any clue how many calories are in some fo those drinks.

NOw I understand that really the labeling will be an approximation, but I would really like to see every resteraunt provide nutritional information, no mater HOW bad the item in question is.

I also am not shocked to see MC'D's offer 2 fish sandwiches for a cheap price packaged with fried & a drink. MC'D's is doing what MC'D's does, they make money and offer leaders that get ppl in. So you go for the fish, well then maybe your kid or bf wants a double quarter pounder, or nuggets, or something that isn't quite such a good deal. They spend very little on that fish, made profit, and convinced more ppl to show up to purchase their items.

Another good point is made above stating that when they do add healthy options they dont' do as well. People KNOW they are getting cruddy food when they go to fast food. Most don't care. If they did then McD's would be selling veggie cups and various other truly healthy options.

As someone who spent years living on very little other than fast food I can say for sure that I liked the convenience, and the taste of the food. I HATE coooking. I still struglge with that. BUT I have learned to make better choices, cook most of my meals, and learn what I'm shoving in my mouth. McDonald's did not make fat I did. I fell for their ploy markets for $5 20 nuggets. I craved their greesy fries, and I adored the fact that dinner had no clean up to speak of and took the amount of time it took me to get through the drive through.

In other words, I liked what they sold. I bought it. I'll be honest I still think they have one of the best quick & cheap side salads (I don't like dressing so it's not an issue).

Anyway enough of my rambling.

beerab
04-08-2011, 04:16 PM
I've read a lot about increasing pressure on fast food places to provide healthier options. When they try to, the healthier stuff doesn't sell as well as the grossly overstuffed items. I can't blame them for not focusing more on health when the populace says one thing, but does another.

That's because the healthier options at many fast food places IMO are terrible. Most of the time it's a salad with a few peices of lettuce and chicken and a wilted tomato...

I have ordered salads at fast food places when I'm practically forced to go and 1- they are not filling at all, 2- they have pitiful pieces of lettuce, 3- half the time the product isn't as visually appealing as the picture, I could go on and on. So usually I end up getting that salad then going home and having something in addition to that meal. I think the only fast food salads I like are the ones at Rubio's.

I applaud them for trying but there is more that can be done IMO.

Eliana
04-08-2011, 04:17 PM
I agree about McD's not offering healthy choices because they don't sell. It's sad, but it's true. My beef with ALL American restaurants is the portions. If you want to order two fish sandwiches, have at it. But I have an issue with the fact that it's packaged so easily that way.

Many Americans learn about portions based on what is served to them, and in many homes that's fast food and restaurant foods. They mimic that when eating at home. This is why I have a problem with this. I, for instance, did not know until I started calorie counting that a portion of chicken is half the breast! It's never served that way...ever. Now in my home, I butterfly it each and every time. (It cooks better this way too)

So while I won't complain about the items offered so much...I WILL complain about how much of it is offered. I'm not even sure I agree with the large fry and certainly not the large drink. Want more? Order more.

konfyoozed
04-08-2011, 04:21 PM
haha not shocked at all. they used to have a 2 double cheeseburger meal which is probably just as bad, or worse.

jitterfish
04-08-2011, 04:22 PM
You don't go to McDs (or any other fast food outlet) for healthy food, its pretty simple :) Its nice that they have some healthy options, but if I'm going to eat fast food its because I'm feeling like something unhealthy, a big ol' chicken burger, bacon and cheese.

lauralyn
04-08-2011, 04:28 PM
I am tired of seeing McDonalds etc getting blamed for people putting high calorie food in their mouths. They are not force feeding anyone, the people that eat there are making their own choices. I LOVE their fish sandwich but I will not be eating one any time soon....my decision not theirs. It is time for people to be accountable for their actions and stop blaming others.

Fit4Lyfe
04-08-2011, 04:47 PM
Not surprised, that's just the name of the game in our capitalist society. I think that "healthy" and "fast food" don't go together and so when people say, "it's not McDonald's fault...stop blaming them" I roll my eyes because in some peoples cases, that's all they can get (or afford) is crappy, fast food crap. My parents worked like crazy to provide for us and my mom just didn't always have the time to go home and cook healthy meals (and honestly, didn't have the knowledge...although she would use canned vegetables and stuff) and we relied on a lot of fast food. Is that McDonald's fault? No. But do they prey on that exact demographic? You're d*mn right they do...look at these re-vamped Happy's Meal commercials toting their crap to busy moms. I don't "blame" McDonald's but what other choices do some of these people have?

Anyway, that freakin' fish sandwich isn't even fish; it's breaded crap deep fried and tossed with heart-stopping amounts of mayo/tartar sauce...

Goddess Jessica
04-08-2011, 04:49 PM
I have to disagree with the posters that said McDonald's is not responsible for what people put in their mouths.

Millions of dollars spent in marketing campaigns are meant to "educate" their consumers and use psychology to change the way consumers eat at their restaurants. It's like saying the movie theater that put subliminal messages in their movie (and increased the sale of popcorn, candy and soda) is not responsible because no one force fed them. When you're subjected to advertising in this 24/7 media world, it WILL have a psychological effect. No, no one is force feeding consumers but McDonald's (and others) are not unaware of what they need to do to manipulate the public.

lauralyn
04-08-2011, 06:05 PM
I roll my eyes because in some peoples cases, that's all they can get (or afford) is crappy, fast food crap.

See, I roll my eyes to comments like this, I can't afford to go to Mcdonalds, I find it too expensive.


I have to disagree with the posters that said McDonald's is not responsible for what people put in their mouths.

Millions of dollars spent in marketing campaigns are meant to "educate" their consumers and use psychology to change the way consumers eat at their restaurants. It's like saying the movie theater that put subliminal messages in their movie (and increased the sale of popcorn, candy and soda) is not responsible because no one force fed them. When you're subjected to advertising in this 24/7 media world, it WILL have a psychological effect. No, no one is force feeding consumers but McDonald's (and others) are not unaware of what they need to do to manipulate the public.

Millions of dollars are spent by our governments to educate us on eating healthy also.

beerab
04-08-2011, 06:08 PM
Yeah really fast food is NOT cheap IMO. Just 1 meal can be up to $8 and then if you have a family of 4 that's around $32-40 in one pop. I spend $30 a week on produce and meat, if that and feed a family of 3 (and one is a teen boy so he eats like the world is ending tomorrow).

I agree to some extent McDonald's doesn't force people to eat their food but I bet they can find some healthier ways to cook their foods to cut out some fat/calories here and there.

I eat out less than I used to and try to eat at healthier places when I do go.

Arctic Mama
04-08-2011, 07:24 PM
This is aimed at nobody in particulat, I promise!

To be fair, proper deep frying doesn't contribute many calories to a food, as it is a cooking environment more than an ingredient additive (if you take it out at the right time the food has absorbed almost no oil). The breading and processing of the fish is where those calories come in, along with the bun, not whether it is fried or grilled.

I get a bit annoyed at villainizing deep frying food, a quick look into the chemistry behind why it works and it becomes clear very little oil is deposited into the food. Adding butter to a recipe or pan frying are different beasts, on the other hand, but all oil really does is allow for quick, complete sears of food all at once and a conductive cooking environment that cooks the food very quickly. Overfrying will saturate it with grease, but it also won't taste very good either. Take it out before it stops bubbling and you're golden (and delicious), and calorically none the worse for wear. It adds about the same calories for a whole piece of fried fish as putting a teaspoon of butter on it. 35 calories ain't bad, folk!


/end generalized rant.



And yes, I very much agree that two sandwiches are too much for most people to consume, unless they are like my husband - big, energetic, and eating all their daily calories in one meal and a snack, then finishing when they are full. I hate him for it :lol:

Goddess Jessica
04-08-2011, 07:29 PM
Lauralyn - Although I agree that the government does, it's not anything in the range of what corporations pay. And the talent is usually better as well -- most research psychologist would rather make the big bucks in a corporation than with a government agency since the pay is not nearly as stunning and your pet research isn't funded as it is in a private agency.

As far as fast food being expensive, you should take a look at the studies on fresh food deserts and obesity rates. I live in an urban city and the poor areas of town can't get a grocery store within walking distances or public transportation. However, they can get a fast food joint on every corner. It's not just the price of the meal. It's price of getting there and getting back when you can't.

I don't see this as a binary issue.

mandalinn82
04-08-2011, 08:48 PM
As far as fast food being expensive, you should take a look at the studies on fresh food deserts and obesity rates. I live in an urban city and the poor areas of town can't get a grocery store within walking distances or public transportation. However, they can get a fast food joint on every corner. It's not just the price of the meal. It's price of getting there and getting back when you can't.

Food deserts are indeed a huge barrier, one that could use a lot more talk and consideration, IMO, in discussions about the root causes and resolution of obesity, particularly in urban and underserved areas. But I'd argue that that's more a policy problem than the fault of McDonald's for building where they have a market and a viable location.

Nola Celeste
04-08-2011, 10:01 PM
As far as fast food being expensive, you should take a look at the studies on fresh food deserts and obesity rates. I live in an urban city and the poor areas of town can't get a grocery store within walking distances or public transportation. However, they can get a fast food joint on every corner. It's not just the price of the meal. It's price of getting there and getting back when you can't.

I don't see this as a binary issue.

Absolutely spot-on.

McDonald's isn't health food, but it IS cheap food, depending on what you get--and for some families, that's a much higher priority than health. We look at a two-sandwich value meal and go "ew, that is just nasty!" Someone else might look at it and say, "Bingo--dinner for two kids for the price of a single value meal!"

Cheap, fast, or healthy--pick any two. McDonald's offers the first two. I'd like it if they had more of the third option as well, but I also realize that most of us who are on these boards (which means we have money for luxury goods like computers and internet access) see food through the wrong end of the telescope. For most of human history and for a lot of folks today, getting enough calories is more of a challenge. For some people, value meals really are a major value.

I agree that portion sizes are cah-RAZY these days. But the flip side of that is that reducing them while charging the same amount would really crush some people's budgets, both calorically and financially. It's hard to argue in favor of seeing fast food places reduce portion sizes when I know that some people need the extra value of more food for the money. When you don't have a car and the nearest supermarket is three miles away, the McDonald's across the street looks like a damned good option.

I now realize that I basically ate enough for two, maybe three people when I went to McDonald's; it wasn't really McDonald's' fault that I ordered what I now consider an entree along with my entree--although it is arguably their fault that they're calling the thing a "snack wrap" and not an "entree wrap." :)

Trazey34
04-09-2011, 01:08 PM
crazy LOL but that's a free market economy for you -- and at least you KNOW it's that many calories. It does seem ridiculous that their somewhat healthier options of thai salads etc. are like $9 whereas you can feed your whole family for $9 if you had to.

Although I live in a University town, and Sunday mornings seeing the hungover lads scarfing down FOUR of those sandwiches at least makes me laugh a bit, as they're 6 feet tall and weigh about 80 pounds LOL

geoblewis
04-09-2011, 03:17 PM
So, if we all got to design a healthy, inexpensive fast food restaurant, what would you like to see on the menu?

Here's my wish list:

If it had to be a drive-thru, then finger foods have to be on the menu. You can't eat a salad while driving. You can't properly eat a burger while driving. So a healthy, seasoned, grilled chicken strip makes sense. Maybe even salmon strips. Ground beef or lamb kibbee. Falafel. All the meats should be free-range, cage-free, grass-fed, wild-caught as appropriate.

Wraps are an option. The wraps can be made with whole grains and flax. There could be a variety of fillings to choose from.

Grilled or raw veggies, fresh fruit that's washed and cut when an order is placed. (I hate the precut veggies and fruit. They have preservative all over them and it tastes awful!) And some yogurt-based dips.

How about sweet potato oven-fries?

There should be some options for people with allergies.

Beverages served could include a varitey of iced teas, fruit juices blended with sparkling water. Smoothies.

Come up with more ideas!

kallismom
04-09-2011, 03:30 PM
It's all just a friggin mess. I am not vegitarian, but the grain that goes into fattening up all the cows, chicken, and fish is probably enough to sustain the people that go there looking for a value.

IMHO, fast food (for the most part) is a really slimy business that preys on the ignorance of the public.

Trazey34
04-09-2011, 04:48 PM
I guess so, but how much ignorance can we really plead? I mean, the nutrition labels are right there in your face. There's a label on everything now.

Some people want to eat that way, and it's a free country. I think it's dumb, but I did it for years. I think drinking booze and smoking is dumb, but I can if I want. I don't want anyone taking the choice away from me.

Places like Chipotle in the States are making a killing with their fresh ingredients/speedy service! We don't have them in Canada yet... although a quick drive thru breakfast at tim horton's is a toasted whole wheat english muffin (no butter) and an egg on it... i can live with that! and their coffee is outstanding, bonus!

Nola Celeste
04-09-2011, 05:27 PM
If we all ate a flavorless, but nutritious gruel of protein-fortified grains, I'm sure it would be quite sustainable too--but let's face it, people want food that tastes good. I'm not going to tell people with not a lot of money that they don't deserve to eat flavorful food because they can get by with something less.

I find it presumptuous that those of us who can afford the luxury of living in neighborhoods where grocery stores are part of the landscape judge cheaper, more accessible meals so harshly for being "unsustainable." I can pretty much guarantee that the lifestyle of someone who can't afford a car and lives in a crap-hole of an apartment over a pawn shop has an overall lower carbon footprint than our middle-class lives produce.

I've been the person living in that crap-hole apartment, and Mickey D's was one of my more affordable, accessible meal options. I'm not painting the company as a bunch of saints out to help the poor and needy, but they fill a necessary ecological niche in the modern city's food web.

We could certainly argue that McDonald's shouldn't be the most affordable, accessible meal option for people in rotten neighborhoods, but don't blame the people who eat there for eating "unsustainably." Sustainability is VERY much a wealthier person's concern.

dragonlady1978
04-09-2011, 05:50 PM
If we can blame a McDonald's for making people overweight, where does it end?

Can I blame Walmart for having a huge Little Debbie aisle? And for selling them in boxes of 12 so cheaply? They just don't care about my health, obviously.

How about blaming the government for paying American farmers not to grow produce. Or the FDA for approving so many medications that have the side effect of weight gain? My mother should be held responsible for passing onto me the predisposition to obesity. My culture for making fattening foods a social requirement.

I'd love to be able to believe that the blame for making me fat should fall on some other person or entity. Even if I did, what purpose does it serve?

Nutrition information for fast food is no big secret. There are plenty of convenience foods that are just as fattening that we can eat out of a box or bag at home.

I look at this the same way I would any other lifestyle choices I may consider unhealthy....Tobacco and liquor stores are on every corner in the city-that is SO much worse but we aren't berating Circle K. If you are health conscious, then don't go to the drive thru. That doesn't mean we can take those choices away from other people who DO want it.
Every single business for-profit in the world bases their success on supply and demand. They make things to sell because someone, somewhere wants to buy it. Is McDonald's evil for the 2-fish deal? Am I evil for baking a batch of chocolate chip cookies?

It is everybody's individual choice whether to eat either...and more importantly, what they eat and do thereafter. A person can have an indulgence once in a while and not be adversely effected by it at all if their other choices aren't unhealthy also.

In the end, if we are angry about Mc-Whoever offering a menu choice because it is unhealthy, all we are really doing is forcing our own values onto everyone else.

Do I wish I didn't have that temptation, when I leave my street to see 6 fast food places and smell the flame broiled smoky goodness flowing out of Burger King directly into my car vents? LOL, sure. But if I don't take FULL responsibility for what I decide to put into my own body...that mentality doesn't help me or anyone else.

Nola Celeste
04-09-2011, 06:26 PM
I do see Eliana's original point that portion sizes are just wacky these days. There's no arguing that a two-sandwich value meal is a LOT of food. I just think that we--a self-selected population of people who, for the most part, have more complicated relationships with food than those who have never struggled with weight might--see "a LOT of food" in a different light than others might.

I could easily have socked that much food away at one point. It's part of what made me fat. While I can't claim that I ate such big volumes of food unknowingly, I can say that a lot of "portion creep" has happened without my having to order more stuff from the menu. Aside from candy bars that seem to shrink every year, portions have gotten huge. People love to get a value--thus the name "value meal"--and offering them something that's 30% larger for the same price will bring customers in by the van-load.

So I see both sides here. On the one hand, I agree completely that it's the diner's responsibility to limit calories and portions. The most important thing I've done to help foster my weight loss is take complete responsibility for my eating habits. If I eat a Quarter Pounder (which I haven't since at least October 19 :) ), it'll have the same effect on my body whether I count it or ignore it, so I had damned well better count it and own my choices.

On the other hand, portions have slowly increased over years and decades to the point that the same order you placed at McDonald's five years ago might have an extra 200 calories' worth of fries or Coke today. That's an extra three pounds of fat a year if you eat your usual fast food meal once per week--and you haven't changed a thing. What happens if you up-size your meal on half your visits? Yikes.

Fast food places could be a little more forthcoming with nutritional info, too. It's there for the Googling, yes, but it'd be even more convenient if menus featured the calorie counts. I'm a pretty savvy eater now, but I ran afoul of a 750-calorie salad early on in my weight loss--and it wasn't even one of those ranch-laden monstrosities topped with fried chicken bits, either. It was just an abundance of calorie-dense toppings like cheese and nuts and croutons. I figured maybe 500...got home, Googled it, BAM, an extra 250 calories that I had to carve out of my dinner.

If I did this, how many other people who aren't as assiduous about reading labels and looking up calorie counts are also consuming gut-busting lunches? I'm all in favor of more accessible fast food nutritional information disclosure.

But I strongly support people's right to order whatever they choose from that nutritionally-labeled menu. Getting to pick what we eat for dinner is one of the most basic freedoms adults can exercise. Policing others' meals, no matter how well-intentioned, is a worrisome precedent to set.

graycyn
04-09-2011, 06:48 PM
But I strongly support people's right to order whatever they choose from that nutritionally-labeled menu. Getting to pick what we eat for dinner is one of the most basic freedoms adults can exercise. Policing others' meals, no matter how well-intentioned, is a worrisome precedent to set.

I have to agree... McD's is hardly the only restaurant that offers food in excessive amounts. I was in a local restaurant with hubby, he ordered a fried mushroom appetizer and it came in an ENORMOUS BASKET. It almost certainly had enough calories in it for two rather large meals if not considerably more!

Further, while a two sandwich value meal might be a lot of food to us, to a pro football player or someone who hasn't eaten all day, or someone who leads a very active lifestyle, it might be just fine. Think Michael Phelps. Maybe it's not the healthiest choice, but calorie-wise, there's always someone out there who can eat tons of calories and never gain an ounce! I'm not going to judge if they want to grab a meal like this.

However, I have the freedom NOT to grab that same meal for myself!

Eliana
04-09-2011, 06:55 PM
Georgia, I would SO eat at your restaurant! :D Yum!

Nola, thank you for bringing up portion control! Yes, that was definitely my original point. I'm happy to debate all sides of the picture, but the post was actually started because of portion control issues, not because fast-food places dare offer high calorie items. ;) I know I for one would protest should DQ ever stop selling their Blizzards! But I would applaud them for giving us a smaller size option. Miami University is known for their Toasted Rolls which is pretty much icing covered bread fried in butter and then coated with powder sugar! Yum! And it would be a shame if they had to stop selling it. Rare treats like that should be enjoyed and sometimes even guilt free. It IS up to the consumer to limit these purchases.

I just can't help thinking restaurants have a responsibility to return their portions to old standards AND lower the price too. Somewhere someone came up with the idea that "more is better" and it just isn't when it comes to food.

kallismom
04-10-2011, 10:30 AM
I agree that people should have the right to eat whatever they choose, absolutely.

I lived in a car while pregnant for over 4 months when I was 18. I ate fast food as a means of survival (I didn't have a kitchen). It took a long time for me to have the "luxury" of any other type of food besides convenient store crap or fast food. Fast food was the luxury at that time. I am not judging the people that eat it, I am judging the industry.

Rural areas are much the same as urban ones. My grandmother lives in a town with one small grocery store, and five fast food joints. Many of the people in my grandma's county don't have a car, and there is NO public transportation.

The fast food establishments sponsor elementary school functions in some of the areas near me. The health department gives kids McD's gift certificates after immunizations as a reward. It isn't right to brainwash our kids. It also isn't fair for the government to give kids conflicting information. The teachers will teach them how to eat in class, but at the end of the day - YAY! Pizza Hut Night (at school!?) It takes soooo much work for us as parents to undo the damage caused by fast food advertising.

As I said, it's a mess. And as for the eating tasteless gruel. Of course people want things that taste good. If it weren't for all the artificial "flavor enhancers" allowed into the "food" they're pushing it would taste like the crap that it is, and NO one would buy it.

theox
04-10-2011, 10:50 AM
I have to disagree with the posters that said McDonald's is not responsible for what people put in their mouths.

Millions of dollars spent in marketing campaigns are meant to "educate" their consumers and use psychology to change the way consumers eat at their restaurants. It's like saying the movie theater that put subliminal messages in their movie (and increased the sale of popcorn, candy and soda) is not responsible because no one force fed them. When you're subjected to advertising in this 24/7 media world, it WILL have a psychological effect. No, no one is force feeding consumers but McDonald's (and others) are not unaware of what they need to do to manipulate the public.

I think you're right that fast food restaurants aren't at all free of blame for their attempts to influence consumer habits, but individual people are still the ones making the choices.

I used to work at a Wendy's, and the people who had the smallest, healthiest (or "healthiest") meals also tended to be the thinnest and fittest. The people who got the triple baconator combos and similar items tended to be the most obese and generally unhealthy looking (the exception to this was teenage boys, who were often thin and ordered loads of junk). Fast food consumption is only a part of eating healthy; customers develop their consumption habits over time and from a variety of places. I think it ultimately comes down to health awareness and motivation on the part of consumers, neither of which fast food restaurants are responsible for providing.

Naama
04-10-2011, 10:56 AM
From a non-American - I wonder how much of a contribution to this is what seems to me like a general cultural propensity to "bigger is better"? Fast food is popular throughout the world but I think only in America supersizing so popular? I mean just from seeing in television the huge Starbucks lattes or the enormous popcorn buckets that so many seem to have on a day to day basis...

Another pespective regarding individual and societal responsibilities. It's true of course that people are responsible to what they put in their mouths, but I think that social influence is a very real factor in how we behave. I mean, look how smoking rates have gone down since it's become so much less socially acceptable and I'm sure the same would happen if eating an entire family bag of chips, chocolate, whatever, or eating enormous supersized fast food meals became socially unacceptable as well. I guess that criticizing McDonalds and other fast food companies is actually a positive ONE step in making that cultural change. Changing school lunches and removing all vending machines from schools would be another. Limiting food commercials during children's tv programs yet another... I don't know. I read a lot about how government subsidies to soy, corn (dairy?) agricultrual industries are at the root of the obesity epidemic. Maybe, a la Marx, no real change can be made before that economic reality is changed?

Eliana
04-10-2011, 11:18 AM
From a non-American - I wonder how much of a contribution to this is what seems to me like a general cultural propensity to "bigger is better"? Fast food is popular throughout the world but I think only in America supersizing so popular? I mean just from seeing in television the huge Starbucks lattes or the enormous popcorn buckets that so many seem to have on a day to day basis...

Another pespective regarding individual and societal responsibilities. It's true of course that people are responsible to what they put in their mouths, but I think that social influence is a very real factor in how we behave. I mean, look how smoking rates have gone down since it's become so much less socially acceptable and I'm sure the same would happen if eating an entire family bag of chips, chocolate, whatever, or eating enormous supersized fast food meals became socially unacceptable as well. I guess that criticizing McDonalds and other fast food companies is actually a positive ONE step in making that cultural change. Changing school lunches and removing all vending machines from schools would be another. Limiting food commercials during children's tv programs yet another... I don't know. I read a lot about how government subsidies to soy, corn (dairy?) agricultrual industries are at the root of the obesity epidemic. Maybe, a la Marx, no real change can be made before that economic reality is changed?
I think you have a real point here! It comes down to peer pressure. And when I think about it, people often apologize to me for their eating habits now. That's a problem in and of itself and a whole different topic, but when people see me eating whole, healthy foods and they've ordered fast-food for lunch, they are apologetic or they offer up an explanation for why they are choosing to eat that way. I never feel the need to explain my food options. So maybe just having more of us "eating by example" can have an impact on our culture over time. Interesting.

LetsWorkItOut
04-10-2011, 11:26 AM
I think it ultimately comes down to health awareness and motivation on the part of consumers, neither of which fast food restaurants are responsible for providing.

I disagree. Not all people have access to the same degree of information that we have, which is something a lot of people take for granted. As many people became more education about the unhealthiness of fast food, McDonald's stock price dropped. So what did they do? They began advertising to poor and uneducated ethnic minorities, or as they titled it the "urban market." This is a market that they KNEW did not have the knowledge about healthy eating, and yet they pandered to them through the $1 menu, advertisments with ethnic minority actors, and by plopping down restaurants in poor urban areas.

They have a role in the lack of health awareness. It may not be the most significant role, but they have one. To say that they are no way responsible for awareness and motivation on the part of consumers is not giving their shady ad execs enough credit (or discredit).

stasiagurl91
04-10-2011, 01:11 PM
All industries, food, beauty, even "health related, are all about money. they dont care if ur kid has to suffer from obesity and get depressed as long as the kid spends his allowance buying a big mac truth be told. i went on wendys website and had my 7 yr old cousin tell me what he usually likes to eat there and it came to over 1000 calories. i forgot exactly what