Friday, August 10, 2007

McDonalds Study

This story grabbed me. I was walking by the kitchen table, and I saw the golden arches on the front of the Times Union, causing me to become curious over why this corporation made the headlines. This article, "Under a different label, that broccoli seems tasty," also has been quite popular in national news as well.

The study tested subjects of 63 3-5 year old kids on McDonalds prodcuts vs. alternative products, such as vegetables. The overwhelming outcome: anything made by McDonalds taste better.

I can't say that, ultimately, I'm surprised; I'm more horrified at what fast food and advertising is doing to our culture--especially our youth.

Even when the researchers slapped McDonalds labels on broccoli and carrots, kids decided that they tasted better than the no-name product. The name just tastes better.

In a generation that's becoming insant-gratification-seeking and overwhelmingly overweight, how can we overlook this study? We're seeing more fast-food pitches and childhood obesity than ever before. Obesity is increasing throughout all ages, perhaps because our restaurants market massive, over-sized meals that contain more calories than we need for the whole day. But, our nation likes the best tasting and best products--those just happen to be ridiculuous in fat and caloric intake.

As Meredith Vierra said on the Today Show about this story, "Are we creating a nation of fast-food addicts?" Yes.

The study concluded that, of these 63 3-5 year olds, "about one third ate McDonalds weekly." I can't imagine ever taking my child to McDonalds that frequently because their food is not nutritious in the least!

In response, McDonalds says they will begin to promote Happy Meals with fruit and fewer calories. I hope so anyways...

McDonalds is just a large target in the fast-food mania here--the fast-food, overweight, instant gratification issue. They are the dominating corporation in the industry, marketing on a ridiculous amount of levels from radio to television, magazines to newspapers, billboards to merchandise, internet ads to a clown mascot. They're everywhere. I think that adults are old enough to make decisions about their health (even though we don't always make the wisest ones), but children? Can they? Can they grow out of this advertising brainwashing?

Anyway, what do you make of this study and the conclusions?

(As always, I'm being a bit dramatic, but this really does bother me.)

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