Charles: Ban the Burger

Royal Condemnation

CatererSearch Online reports that Prince Charles has criticised McDonalds and that childhood obesity could be solved by banning the burger.

Although I would not eat at McDonalds if they were paying me (unless it was quite a lot that they were paying, say enough to pay for a few good restaurant meals, with wine), I don’t think that this is a particularly fair comment for their part. It’s a bit like blaming a single raindrop for getting one wet, when one has been standing out in a downpour for half an hour.

McDonalds or Parents?

Are we expected to believe that a child’s health will suffer from having a “treat” of a meal from McDonalds once a week when, at home, they are guzzling sugar and tartrazine-laden soft drinks, eating 99% fat free cereal bars (1% fat, 50% sugar, 49% sawdust), trans-fat laden cakes and the fluffy muck sold in supermarkets under the name of bread. (Oh for the international adoption of the French bread laws.)

The larger players in the fast food industry are well aware that their traditional fare is not the healthiest and are making available the healthier options that consumers are now demanding. Sadly, and due to the persistent dissemination (probably by the sugar industry) of outdated nutritional advice, low fat is what consumers are perceiving to be healthy.

Misleading Health Claims

I am sickened by advertisements and food labeling claiming foods to be 99% fat free (often when that food is naturally so). If manufacturers were really making healthy fare, they would be claiming it to be 99% sugar free, 100% free of azo dyes, sulphites, trans fats, and – I’ll wear my fingers out if carry on with this list.

Let the convenience food industry – that which supplies the supermarkets, as well as fast food outlets – lose the sugar, cut the carbs and start sourcing fresh, local produce (when available). They will need to push their healthier products as being so, as we can rarely rely on governments to provide up to date nutritional advice (or advice not biased by the sugar industry lobby).

The Root of the Problem

Had the global fast food industry emerged out of Asia, rather than North America, things could be quite different. Sushi, anybody?