McDonalds do not want to know about their impact on obesity and diabetes

McDonalds do not want to know about their impact on obesity and diabetes

At their annual shareholder meeting held this week on Thursday 24 May 2012, McDonald’s Corp investors rejected (yet again) a proposal that would have them assess their impact on childhood and adolescent obesity levels.  The McDonald’s board of directors voted it down saying it was “unnecessary and redundant”.  I wonder why…? 

Cigarette sales started to fall the moment the companies admitted they killed their users
The McDonald's shareholder proposal (oops, rejected in 2011 as well…), comes at a time when the American children are fatter and sicker than ever.  Almost one in three U.S. children is overweight or obese.  The countries with the highest ratio of fast food stores per head of population are the fattest and sickest.  The rates of liver disease amongst young people have TRIPLED in the last 30 years (blog to follow on this tomorrow).  US children are predicted to die younger than we are due to the explosion of obesity-related diseases they will suffer (see my other blogs on this topic).  All the countries following the Standard American Diet (SAD - full of processed, cheap and highly addictive takeaway foods), such as New Zealand, Australia and Western Europe, are right up there with the USA in terms of preventable illness rates and modern lifestyle diseases.

Fast food takeaway chains are running scared
The Institute of Medicine (the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences), in a 2006 report requested by the American Government itself (!), said “junk food marketing contributes to an epidemic of childhood obesity that continues to rise”.  As reported by Reuters on Thursday May 24, 2012, McDonald’s executives on Thursday said (I kid you not), “We’re proud of the changes we’ve made to our menu. We’ve done more than anybody in the industry around fruits and vegetables and variety and choice”.

I'm sorry, but what?!

McDonald’s for your produce?  Spare me!
When was the last time you walked into McDonald’s looking for your fruits and vegetables?  Who are they kidding?  People go to McDonald’s to eat fast food.  That is the reason they exist.  They make their profit off burgers, fried foods and soft drinks.  You do not consider your long-term health profile, your disease-risk, your weight, your health and your energy levels and then decide to support your journey back to health by going for a burger, French fries and a cola.  You go there as you are craving the highly additive mixture of gluten, sugar, salt and fat that takeaway foods are made of.  Reuters also quoted Dr Andrew Bremer, a pediatric endocrinologist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville (who actually presented the proposal at the meeting) as saying that “McDonald’s has chosen to employ countless new PR tactics that create a perception of change…It is not enough to point to so-called healthier menu items when children are still the target of aggressive marketing of an overwhelming unhealthy brand”.

Corporate Accountability?  Transparency?  ZERO
A business watchdog group and over 2,500 cardiologists, pediatricians and other healthcare professionals across the USA asked for the review to be done.  Any corporation who genuinely cared about the health of its consumers would carry out this ‘easily done and low cost’ revue.  McDonald's are making MILLIONS of dollars profit every day selling this stuff so they can afford a little extra research.  They fund research all the time that suits them, such as 'finding their perfect demographic consumer and figuring out how to get them to buy more'.  McDonald’s management thinks this revue is “unnecessary and redundant”.  Yeah, I bet they do.  This is because they know what the report will say and it will not be good news for them. 

These tactics remind me of the giant tobacco corporations.  It was conclusively proven that cigarettes caused lung cancer in 1932.  The tobacco companies then hired doctors to front their adverts.  The cigarette companies own internal research confirmed the lung and other cancer-link in 1962.  However, they only admitted it in 1992 after years of increasing the nicotine levels in cigarettes.  This ensured generations of addicts to fuel their business for decades.  They did this while they knew they were creating millions of new child-users.  Most of whom would die from the filthy habit.

Sound familiar?   

Full Thursday May 24, 29012 report by reuters.com here: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/24/us-mcdonalds-obesity-idUSBRE84N1CI20120524

Posted: Sunday 27 May 2012

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