Super Size Me?

OK, the mass media bombardment of the famous golden arches on every TV commercial, billboard and magazine was tolerable once, but now, its reached the point of insanity. That's right- I'm talking about McDonalds. Now let me just clarify that I have nothing against the corporation, they are after all profit making business- just like any other food company, but could they be exaggerating? Maybe just a little bit? It's hard enough having to listen to their mind numbing slogans and jingles on the radio, but having your kids chant it all day, or your bimbo friend hum it every odd hour (maybe just to irritate you), makes me want to smash things.

I have to admit it though, those repetitive ad campaigns have done a good job at brainwashing the junk food-eating society that we have become. Mc.D were smart enough to reap our souls at a young age, and drag us into their world of international corporate butchery. Their catechism would start by promoting those must-have plastic toys, that everyone at school seemed to be obsessing over, and if you didn't get one soon, it would mean a total abolishment of your adolescent social life. Then, there was the sugar. As if a bucket of coca cola and a sundae drowned in syrup wasn't enough to get kids going, they added sugar to their sauces, buns and fries too. No wonder children are always so perky and hopped up in there! The company has accomplished their plan to get you to think that Mcdonalds is equal to hype... lots of it. It's as if they've discretely implanted a mechanism in your brain that makes you auto-respond with: “YEAHH”, “Oh My God YES!” or maybe just a jackalope-like bounce and leap every time your parents suggested going to the fast food Utopia.

So, harvesting the young wasn't too hard. What about the adults? What makes them keep going there? even after their sugar-binging juvenile days? For one, the simple fact that we are used to seeing a McDonalds logo or banner in every commercial street, newspaper, and TV station, gives us a subliminal feeling of familiarity. If you're travelling to a foreign country for the first time, you might feel disoriented at first, but when you catch a glimpse of the golden arches, you automatically feel more at ease- just for the simple reason that you've sighted something that this country has in common with your own. Yeah, most of us are used to seeing McDonalds for years, and somehow, it gets conventionally embedded into our lifestyle.

Let's face it, society grows lazier by the day. When it's time to eat, we want to do it without cooking, waiting or spending obscene amounts of cash. That's exactly where McDonalds comes in. They provide their customers with quick, tasty and inexpensive delights- the perfect concoction for a successful food empire. We love that we can buy a meal with a couple of dollars, and Mc.D seem to have special offers, promotions, and new snacks all the time. The one thing, however that it does not provide us with, is enough healthy alternatives.

It's true that they have a range of salads, but if you plan on dumping the pre-packaged dressing it comes with, then you're probably better off nibbling at a McToast, or a small burger instead. Just an FYI- the dressing might consist of more calories than the salad itself (depending on what you order). Here's a quick calorie crunch so that you know what I'm on about. A large coke is equal to 400 calories, a grilled chicken salad contains 120 calories, the Ranch dressing has 230 calories and a large fries adds another 500 calories. A total of just under 1300 calories. Sure, they might make it seem healthy, but always be aware what you're mixing with what. Now this does not mean that you have to abolish fast food for eternity, maybe you might want to steer clear of it if you're dieting and can't handle the smell of greasy meat, but otherwise, try opting for a diet coke instead of the original, and cut the fries off- they're packed with sodium. If you manage to incorporate these substitutes, your net calorie intake will drop to just 400 calories. Not bad, considering it's fast food.

All in all, the golden arches have conquered the planet with their world-wide advert barrage, modifying us into a plumpish population. However, a few positive things that make McDonalds praiseworthy, is that it seems to make people content with it's friendly atmosphere and staff and this seems to be absent in other grease-huts. Additionally, they have lately added the nutritional content on every box of burgers and fries which is nice of them to do, although we remain deprived of some of the salads and beverage nutrition content, could it be work in progress? I hope so.


Maverick Malone said...
August 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Wow, this is just such a brilliant post. I read so many blogs and haven't read a post as good as this in a long time.

Honestly, I am a wicked food snob, and I find fast food places disgusting, but mcd's above all. It's almost amusing to me, the thought of eating there, and I feel bad for the people that are ignorant and make the choice to continue to be ignorant about how bad it really is for you. It's kind of sad. I read that the golden arches of mcdonalds is the most recognized symbol in the world-even more so than the crucifix. . . I'm not religious, but that's just insane.

Hannah said...
August 6, 2009 at 12:41 PM

@Maverick Malone

Thank you so much for your positive feedback, Hopefully more people will grow health conscious over time.
Hope you visit back soon, my next post will be about how bad eating habits are developed.
Thanks again

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