01 March 2010

McDonald's promotes unhealthy fare as food of the Olympic athletes

(photo credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/roland)

Now that the 2010 Winter Olympics have come to a conclusion, we would be remiss not to touch on the fact that McDonald's was one of the major sponsors of the games going as far as having a presence inside the athlete villages and media centers.

The tagline of the commercials which aired during the sporting events announced, "So now you don't have to be an Olympic athlete to eat like one."

For real?

What kind of message does this send to our children? The food, rich in sodium and high in fat, that McDonald's is peddling as food of the athletes promotes unhealthy eating at its best. One six piece order of Chicken McNuggets has 280 calories and 600mg of sodium. Dip those nuggets in some bbq sauce and you can add another 260mg of sodium to the mix. Have a hankering for some cow? The Big Mac will set you back 540 calories and you better get your blood pressure checked after ingesting the 1040mg of sodium that the burger contains.

This is hardly food that one would recommend before slipping on a pair of skis for some downhill action or picking up a hockey stick with hopes of getting the gold. That’s not to say that some athletes don’t splurge under the Golden Arches before an event but it’s hardly an image that we want to promote or share with kids in this day where childhood obesity and diabetes is at an all-time high.

We think vegetarian snowboarder Hannah Teter said it best during a pre-Olympic news conference, "They have McDonald's at the athlete village so I'll hit that up every morning." While laughing she quickly added, “Not!"

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