McDonald’s Corp. is launching an anti-fat campaign. The home of
your 770-calorie Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese, 600-calorie
Big Mac and 450-calorie Hot N’ Spicy McChicken is on a crusade to
rid the world of obesity.
McDonald’s “Go Active!” campaign will begin May 6 at all of its
13,500 locations in United States. Among other things, it will
feature Adult Happy Meals, a compact meal for adults that includes
a salad, bottled water and pedometer. They have also laid down a
plan to phase out Supersizing by the end of the year.
For those customers who still have a hard time eating healthily
at McDonald’s, the company will publish brochures featuring advice
on how to alter their McEating Habits to have less fat, calories
McDonald’s serves more than 47 million customers daily in 119
In recent years, these 47 million customers have taken to
blaming McDonald’s for their health and weight problems. McDonald’s
has been the target of several obesity lawsuits, prompting much of
their health-intensive media schemes.
I am a former employee of McDonald’s, not disgruntled by any
means, but I am honest. Two years of facing laundry baskets that
smelled of salty, greasy French fries, watching frozen meat patties
sizzle over a grease-covered grill and swimming in a sea of
prepackaged, freeze-dried fresh vegetables has jaded me. I have a
hard time coming to terms with McDonald’s new and improved
The smell of greasy McDonald’s morsels takes me back. I remember
one of my first days of training – I was diligently learning about
McDonald’s selection of condiments. I was doing well, barbecue, hot
mustard, sweet n’ sour, no problem. Then we got to the oil, the
partially hydrogenated vegetable oils used to cook French fries and
many chicken products at McDonald’s, that is considered a
condiment. In my experience, a condiment is something you put on
top of and/or dip your food in. Oil? A condiment? Tell me that
doesn’t make your stomach churn, just a little bit.
And there were always the regulars. People that just made you
smile, because McDonald’s made them happy. At the same time, they
made you wince because they were happily trotting down the trail to
unhealthiness. These were the people that would come in, day-in and
day-out, order the biggest Supersized meal possible, but
health-consciously, with a diet coke.
I think it is great that McDonald’s is trying to be healthier.
Whether or not it is a simple media-stunt to offset obesity
lawsuits or a genuine concern for the well-being of its customers,
a healthier menu cannot hurt anyone – unless people believe it.
Some things at McDonald’s may be getting healthier, but
bottom-line, McDonald’s is not “health food.” Ordering a salad at
McDonald’s and calling yourself a healthy eater is equivalent to
running to catch the bus and calling yourself an Olympic
If you want to eat out, eat out. Live the dream. But if you want
to eat healthy, don’t go to McDonald’s.
Adrienne is a junior majoring in journalism. She will be the
campus diversity editor for the Collegian next year.