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


  1. Im loving that commercial!

  2. I bet McDonald's isn't lovin it. LMAO!

  3. Many opinions on this ad, and I see your points in most cases. Mine is from the point of view of the actor playing the dead guy. Thing is, I didn't know what the job was, just $200 to play a dead body for a day. Struggling actor. A guy. A job. Sure, my body type and age were right for what they needed, but as I laid there for 8 hrs, I realized that I WAS that guy. Whether you end up seeing these images or not, my body at one point was covered with fast food containers and cold french fries. Feet taped together for juuuuust the right angle to have the Arches superimposed. Ironically, treated like a side of beef. Consider: It was MEANT to be incendiary. Remember elementary school? "Meet me by the backstop after school" and the whispers of "fight...backstop...3 o'clock"?? You think the PCRM doesn't WANT a public fight? That they used the Arches thinking they WOULDN'T be sued? That they don't already have a cadre of pro bono vegelawyers with mountains of evidence? McDonald's has lost this fight before, and PCRM knows it. McDonald's: "Eat lots of our food and have fun!" PCRM: "Don't do that. Avoid fast food and meat, eat healthy (veggie), live longer. Oh, and btw, Mickey D's? Bring it." Yes, there are many others out there promoting the fast food nation without remorse, but PCRM decided to load for bear. So, judge as you will.
    All I know is, if the ad was shot today, I wouldn't get the job. Because I played the dead guy? No, because I know how to eat healthy and I want to die slower. Oh, and I enjoy cooking. Was the experience just one more, ironically "real", wake-up call that I had a unique way of relating to because of what I do? Yes. From "being" dead, not from watching the ad.
    Healthier, mostly meatless eating habits, fast food = trail mix and fruit, and 30 lbs later, I'm Lovin' It.