Thursday, September 14, 2006

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.


At 9/14/2006 5:32 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

I agree with you for the most part, but keep in mind that McDonald's has marketed specifically to children for years. They're marketing the junk, not the salads.

At 9/14/2006 6:52 PM, Blogger Anna Venger said...

Yeah, but the kids are not driving to McD's. Their parents are. My kids had McD's, et al, only rarely, growing up. I was the parent and it was my decision.

At 9/14/2006 10:22 PM, Anonymous Andy said...

Absolutely true, but a lot of parents let their parents boss them around when they're being annoying. It's not good, but it's true.

At 9/17/2006 11:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is more behind the "obesity pandemic" than meets the eye. Macdonald's is a huge corporation that has always had an altrustic leaning, as in the Ronald Macdonald house...however, we truly do not know if this is geniune altruism or good business or both. The recent donations to the obesity research could be a smart move of diversion. Macdonald's should not be our focus...The world has now declared obesity a "pandemic"...which is a further example we are quietly being led into one large global corral. Dictators have attempted to do this by force...but most human beings will resist this...but give us a "good cause" and we are led like sheep. In a world which has no absolutes, personal freedom must be dictated. It is ironic how we decry the Ten Commandments as bondage and yet impose our seemingly altruistic notions upon each other. It seems as if there is something afoot which is searching for the next great "pandemic" to herd us into a collective group. Hitler did is not new. Let us reason together and set aside our personal tastes and ask the question...Are those things the "people who care" are proposing truly as good as it seems? What exactly are we trying to prevent? We banned DDT because it was "potentially" dangerous...yet, now we must use it again because the malaria rate has soared...malaria we knew was dangerous! It sounds wonderful...everyone without any weight problem...which I might add...who determines what is a problem? My grandmother was supposedly overweight...she lived a fine life until the ripe old age of 98. However, the runner Jim Fixx died at the age of 52...he might have prolonged his life by running...he might not have. It is pure speculation when doctors determine the reason for the length of a person's life. The variables are too numerous, or we would all live to the same age. I am not advocating gluttony...however, a very skinny person can be an extreme glutton. This isn't the issue...the issue is one of herding us like sheep into one mindset. Who will be the sheep? Who will be the shepherd? Again, I refer to the Nazi regimen...the standards they set, were for "Germany's good"...was not that the rally cry?
Any one who has raised more than one child knows that each one will retain body weight in a different manner, even if lifestyles are identical. So, with this new proposal to make everyone "fit", the child which is heavier must live a life that is under constant scrutiny and this the proposal? Just as we have now become self righteous when we look at a smoker, will we also develop the same disdain for those we determine as overweight? Will parents be fined or put in jail because they do not meet the "standard" for themselves and their children. How are parents to control their children's eating habits? What paranoia could this cause? Plus, this is not a cut and dry issue, for weight is not as easily determined as smoking. Different times and cultures view body weight from conflicting standards. Yes, we should take junk food out of schools for it does not make the brain function in a coherent manner. And schools should be concerned about the alertness of child during classroom hours. Yes, parents should properly feed their child. However, if this is a 'global concern', then we must determine...what is proper feeding of a child? Upon what ethnic lines are we to lean? Also, which foods are safe to feed our children? Beef is questionable...and now spinach, the source of all vitamins, has come into question. Also, will there be a ban on TV to correct this about computers? Will all sedatory activity be monitored? These questions are farfetched, you say,...the answer is simple... the answer is always simple for those proposing the solution, for they are cowardly when looking at the questions; they propose a panacea without looking at the pandora's box which their hands are opening. Mass control has never been a good idea, but in this Bible illiterate world we have no understanding of man's futile attempts at such endeavors. We no longer live in a world which has the same moral compass set in the Ten Commandments. We are being led from one 'good cause' to another...but always with the same diabolical ring...This type of seduction always starts with "our best interest" in started in the garden...remember the line? "You shall be like gods..." intriguing isn't it?


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