McDonald's Donates to Obesity Research
The McDonald's Corporation is donating two million dollars to the Scripps Institute in California for research into the prevention of childhood obesity. McDonald's has been accused of being partially to blame for the high rate of obesity among the young in the United States.
Attacks on the McDonald's Corporation center on the fallacious theory that Americans are stupid and irresponsible. Then again, maybe we are. People who eat at McDonald's once in a while as a treat will not get fat from their experience. Healthy home cooked meals complete with vegetables are best for children. Did anyone not know that? Unfortunately, with busy schedules, parents have opted for fast food meals too often---children did not drive themselves to McDonald's, after all. Parents choose McDonald's and like places because they are cheap and fast. Most fast food places have even added healthier fair such as salads to their menus in recent years. Drink water instead of soda and milk shakes and order the salad, for Pete's sake, or stop by the salad bar at the grocery store.
Yes, America's children are overweight. Our whole culture has changed. Children don't play outside as much for various reasons and often sit in front of the television, eating nutrition-less, high calorie foods, a double whammy. Many schools have even dropped gym classes and physical play at recess from their daily regimen for students. Add harried, exhausted mothers to the mix, seeking fast and cheap, and we have a recipe for a health disaster.
But blame McDonald's? No one ever got fat from eating at McDonald's a couple of times a month. Furthermore, many restaurants serve fat laden foods, using lots of butter, because fat tastes good. Fast food joints alone are not to blame.
Nevertheless, McDonald's is kindly donating two million to research the obesity issue. I suspect that the research will show that if kids exercise more, get adequate sleep, lessen their sugar and cheese curl intake, and eat more fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and ditch the white carbs in favor of whole grains--- in moderation, of course--we would see a rapid decline in obesity and type II diabetes among the young. Since kids probably won't choose those options for themselves, schools will have to reintroduce physical activity into the children's day since children aren't supposed to sit all the time and historically never have done so. Parents also will have to encourage these behaviors by keeping their shelves conspicuously free of sodas and easy-to-grab snack foods and limiting access to the television set. Relegate the fast food option to special treat or road trip status. And be prepared for grumbles and whines from the children. Hard? Yes, but doable.