McDonald’s Refuses to Address its Effect on Obesity

McDonald’s is lovin’ obesity. The company apparently has no intention of putting an end to pumping the world’s arteries full of grease, chemicals, hormones, and god knows what else is in their food. Their corporate investors were addressed by a shareholder proposal this week about considering their effect on obesity, namely in children, in America and worldwide. This proposal was shot down last year as well, and was brought to the table again due to concern with “healthcare-related expenses but also lower worker productivity and diminished quality of life” (Baertlein, Reuters).

Despite statistics reinforcing that poor nutrition is causing overweight and obese children in 1/3 of the US population, McDonald’s executives stand by their brand. Though they have added more healthy options, the number of fruits and vegetables sold are barely significant enough to compensate for the amount of fat-filled, greasy foods consumed per day.

As a result of last year’s shareholder meeting, the portion of french fries in the Happy Meal was reduced, and they now must contain apple slices. Though mild changes are being made, it’s all Mc-smoke and mirrors.

According to the Reuters Health article on the shareholder proposal, “Dr Andrew Bremer, a pediatric endocrinologist and professor at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, presented the proposal at the meeting and said McDonald’s has chosen to employ “countless new PR tactics” that create a perception of change while “unreasonably” exposing shareholders to significant risk.

“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,” Bremer said.” (Baertlein, Reuters)

The proposal against obesity was supported by 2,500 cardiologists,┬ápediatricians, and other healthcare professionals. McDonald’s voted “no” on the proposal, directly rejecting legitimate claims and deep concerns being made. It looks like the company will continue to dance around their responsibility for the weight-related health problems of the country (and world) until the next confrontation.

About B. Somers

B. Somers is a contributor to Health Insurance News, focusing on medical coverage, carriers, health reform and the conflicts surrounding insurance. Writing for the company's sites has provided a strong introduction to health insurance, and the opportunity to gain knowledge in the insurance industry.