So, McDonald’s has a Director of Nutrition. I wish I could say this were an April Fools’ joke (it isn’t).
McDonald’s has just recently insulted the intelligence of consumers everywhere by introducing its new menu offerings as healthy, nutritious, and “part of the fast food chain’s endeavor to achieve variety and balance”. Don’t worry, you won’t miss it: beginning April 1, McDonald’s will vehemently begin their bombardment of advertising directed at those whom the company believes to be losing to a perceived healthier option (ie: Subway) — a valuable demographic of ages 18-32 (roughly 22% of its customer base).
The irresistible food-like substance epiphany? None other than the newly unveiled McWrap: a “soft, warm tortilla filled with chicken breast filet, gorgeous fresh vegetables”, and your choice of flavors (bacon, ranch, or sweet chili). You even get to choose between “crispy” (aka: deep fried), or “grilled” (I suspect the obligatory faux grill marks). You know what else you get? Anywhere from 104-118 ingredients* per wrap. What’s really scary is what’s listed under “seasonings” for the grilled chicken: chicken skin, chicken, and chicken fat. Why are we seasoning our chicken with chicken? Makes one wonder.
Let’s keep them scared, shall we?
Since these behemoth corporations are so well-practiced in public relations, I will do my best to decipher some of their native language.
Here are some excerpts from an interview with the Director of Nutrition herself, Dr. Cindy Goody:
Goody: We’re making nutrition more mainstream at McDonald’s today.
Translation: We desperately need you to stay addicted to our food, so we’ll tell you what you want to hear.
Goody: [Changes to our menu] …came from careful listening to moms in particular and recognizing people are becoming more mindful about what they’re putting in their mouth.
Translation: Uh-oh, they’re on to us.
Goody: If you eat too much of any one thing it’s not going to be healthy so we’re striving for variety and balance here.
Translation: See? It’s not our fault you can’t stop eating this junk.
Goody: There are a lot of factors that affect obesity. It’s not where you eat but what and how much you choose to eat. … So we’ve taken a leadership position in posting calories on our menu boards.
Translation: We care about you, so give us your money.
Goody: I’m a mom of a 2-year old and I gained the prerequisite 30 pounds and I was able to lose all that baby weight. I don’t have a fast metabolism and I eat at McDonald’s once or twice a day. Really.
I could go on, but the whole interview continues in this way. Goody even boldly boasts about the inclusion of oatmeal (back in 2010). What she fails to mention is that McDonald’s somehow managed even to screw that up: more grams of sugar than a full-sized Snickers Bar (32 grams and 27 grams, respectively), significantly less protein than an Egg McMuffin (5 grams to 18 grams, respectively), and only 10 calories less.
So get ready to be inundated with promotions, press conferences, and red carpet events complete with Z-list celebrities who would never visit McDonald’s in their wildest dreams. Don’t fall for their McPhooey. Treat your body with the respect it deserves.
Shame on you, McDonald’s. We’re on to you.
*calculated from McDonald’s website, based on Crispy Chicken and Bacon and Grilled Chicken and Bacon options.
Jodilyn Stuart is the owner of ModaBody Fitness and has been a fitness professional since 1997. She currently contributes to 303 Magazine as a Fitness and Health writer. If you have questions, feel free to email at: [email protected]