. . . why do we have Big Mac Attacks ? Would it also have anything to do with the natural and artificial flavours, colours, food enhancers, etc used in their food processing ?
... and the child friendly clown recommends ...
A group of Australian doctors are lobbying a universally favourite fast food burger store to retire their kid friendly Big Yellow Clown because of the high amounts of salt and sugar in their products causing obesity and diabetes and other health concerns in our children. Example of a burger might be the double quarter pounder with cheese which has 760 calories with 1310 mg of salt (over half the adult daily limit around 2000 mg) and 45 grams of fat.
Chemical additives & preservatives in fast food
There is perhaps another more insidious side to this story – the large number of chemical additives and preservatives, up to a reported 78, which are also included in the food, some of which are linked to hyperactivity, behavourial disorders, etc in children. MacDonalds is reputed to use large amounts of MSG in various products especially their sauces and french fries. It may be labelled as hydrolyzed proteins, carrageenan, autolyzed yeast extract, etc. MacDonalds does not appear to have a published list of all the preservatives and additives in their food.
It's not just MacDonalds, several fast food outlets have an ingredients list of their menu items which they are happy to provide but there is nothing available on the chemical additives used – such as MSG enhancers , dyes, flavourings, preservatives, emulsifiers, etc in soups and sauces. It would be great if all fast food chains were required to not only label or post the ingredients of their products but disclose the chemicals, and quantities used in processing for those ever increasing number of customers who have food allergies or intolerances. If you wish to “Supersize” yourself as an adult – that's your right, option and choice - but let's give our kids a chance.
Fast Food is Big Business
Perhaps it's all about The Money. For example MacDonalds US corporate profit in 2009 was $US1.22 billion. And served 60 million people in 2009! MacDonalds own site states there are 31000 restaurants and 1.5 million employees in 199 countries. Now that is BIG Business!
Hopefully fast food chains will take on some responsibility for disclosing what is really in their food products so that customers can be informed and have a choice. What are the long term health ramifications for generations of children who are trusting a friendly, orange haired clown who they perceive to be looking after them and keeping them safe. What is the truth and what is ethical?
You are what you eat.
- American Proverb
Notes & References
- Food Inc. - some parts of this movie are not for the weak of heart
- And Supersize Me -you must have seen the movie
- Over the years there has been much controversy about Macdonalds business practices, including the use of kangaroo meat in their burgers (did they or didn't they?), French fries with beef flavouring (for vegetarians), the UK Halal controversy (animal welfare) and now allegedly importing beef from South America (which may not have the same beef standards as in Canada eg hormone and pesticide residuals in beef, possible animal parts in feed)
- PS from June of 2011 regarding the affects of advertising on children