16 September 2010

McDonald's high fat menu targeted by PCRM commercial

A commercial by the non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) will air today (Sept. 16th) during The Daily Show and local news broadcasts. The ad targets McDonald's high fat menu, with the goal of drawing Washington D.C's attention to the city's high levels of heart disease deaths and the high density of fast food restaurants.

"Our city's addiction to Big Macs and other high-fat fast food is literally breaking our hearts," says Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., PCRM's nutrition education director. "It's time to tackle the district's heart disease problem head on. A moratorium on new fast food restaurants could be a critically important step toward fighting this epidemic."

Heart disease kills more than 1,500 residents of the district each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted death rate from heart disease in the city is the second highest in the country, above high obesity states like Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

A survey by PCRM shows that Washington has more McDonald's, Burger King and KFC outlets per square mile than eight other cities with similar population sizes. McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food chain, serves a long list of high fat, high cholesterol items and offers almost no healthy choices, according to an analysis by the dietitians at PCRM. Studies, including one from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, show that people who consume fast food on a regular basis increase their risk of obesity, and therefore increase their risk of heart disease - studies have shown that even a single fatty meal can raise blood pressure, stiffen major arteries, and cause the heart to beat harder.

The commercial will air in other fast food addicted cities with high rates of heart disease over the next few months.

Founded in 1985, PCRM is a non-profit health organization that promoted preventative medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

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Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit: video screen capture