16 November 2010

McDonald’s CEO believes company is part of obesity ‘solution’

No other fast food restaurant chain provides more fodder for facepalm moments than McDonald’s—except possibly KFC— but those instances of disbelief have been slowly salted away by the sheer quantity of shocking revelations. Well that was until now, palms up everyone.

The latest doozy originates from the very top of the 55-year-old franchiser’s corporate hierarchy, the Chairman and CEO Jim Skinner.

In an interview that appeared in the USA Today, Maria Bartiromo asked Skinner if he believed McDonald’s could be part of a solution to battle obesity.

“I like to say that we've been part of the solution,” said Mickey D’s top man.

And how exactly have Ronald and the gang helped consumers win the battle of the bulge? According to Skinner the “solution” lies within the options to include apples and 1% milk in Happy Meals and adding grilled chicken to salads. Additionally he explained that the company works “closely with the health organizations and others.” Makes you wonder if “others” include Grimace and the Hamburglar.

Nonetheless, the Golden Arches’ commitment to health and weight loss is quite apparent in its new/old offering, the McRib. The costumer favorite that is featured in a commercial that makes consuming the sandwich resemble a session of foreplay on a cheap date rather than a precursor to a night filled with bloating and indigestion.

The McRib contains 500 calories, 26 grams of fat, 70 mg of cholesterol and enough sodium (980 mg) to refill the Great Salt Lake. Apparently all of that work with “the health organizations” is really paying off.

Unfortunately McDonald’s isn’t going away anytime soon, Mr. Skinner himself provides the best reason for this extremely sad fact when responding to the question, “What do customers want today?”

“The first thing is the same thing they've always wanted: great-tasting food at a great value and at the speed of McDonald's.”

Okay maybe sans “great-tasting” but until people demand healthy menu items—not alternatives alone—first and convenience second fast food joints will rule the landscape.

McRib with apple slices and 1% milk anyone?

Eric Fortney | @elfortney | email
Eric is the co-founder and executive editor of the animal rights and eco-friendly news source, This Dish Is Veg. In addition to his work at TDIV, Eric is a father of three, runner, and lover of the outdoors.

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