London Olympics sponsored by McDonald's is a joke

London Olympics sponsored by McDonald’s is a joke

McDonald’s said it would be providing “high-quality British food” at the Games.  British doctors have slammed the sponsorship of the London Olympics by companies like McDonald’s, saying it sends the wrong message amid the country’s ballooning obesity crisis.  “These brands are using the Olympics to be associated with medals and svelte, fit athletes,” said Sir Ian Gilmore. “They don’t want us to think of fat, unhealthy people when we think of their products.”

Highlights from the story in yesterday’s Washington Post article:

  • McDonald’s exclusive “meal brand” will soon be opening its largest franchise in the world, a two-storey cathedral-like restaurant that seats 1,500 customers, at London’s Olympic Park.
  • McDonald’s will be the only restaurateur allowed to sell brand-name food at the games and there will also be a separate McDonald’s within the athletes’ village — in addition to three others at the Olympic Park. 
  • Yes, FIVE McDonald’s at the games.
  • “It’s very sad that an event that celebrates the very best of athletic achievements should be sponsored by companies contributing to the obesity problem and unhealthy habits,” said Terence Stephenson, a spokesman for the Academy of Royal Medical Colleges.
  • Coca-Cola has the exclusive right to sell non-alcoholic drinks at Olympic venues.
  • Heineken has been named the games’ official beer.
  • Britain is battling an increasing alcohol problem, which experts warned could worsen during the Olympics. “When any major sporting event has an official alcohol supplier, it sends out completely the wrong messages to young people, making it seem as though no major event is complete without alcohol,” said Sir Ian Gilmore, special adviser to the Royal College of Physicians on alcohol. He said he “greatly regretted” that the London Olympics had appointed an official beer.
  • About one-quarter of Britons are obese and experts estimate that could jump to half by 2030.
  • Obesity and related health ailments cost the U.K. health system about 4 billion pounds ($6.5 billion) every year.
  • Some experts said advertising during the Olympics could actually cause a spike in fast food consumption, even in people not inclined to eat it. “We cannot simply decide not to process (an ad), there is a subliminal association that is made that may affect your behavior in the future,” said Nilli Lavie, a professor of psychology and brain sciences at University College London.
  • McDonald’s said in a statement they expected about “one-in-10 people visiting London’s Olympic Park to eat at their Golden Arches”.

Here is the link to the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/uk-doctors-criticize-mcdonalds-olympic-sponsorship-say-ads-could-worsen-obesity-epidemic/2012/05/01/gIQA9i4UtT_story.html

Posted: Wednesday 2 May 2012

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