Thursday, October 12, 2006

McDonald's Obesity Post

Catherine Adams, from McDonald's attended an Obesity conference and is not happy about what she got to hear about McDonald's.

I recently participated in an interesting meeting of the International Association for the Study of Obesity (IASO). The meeting brought together representatives from academia, independent research organizations, government health agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industry groups to talk about research related to obesity. As a scientist, nutritionist, and leader of McDonald's worldwide nutrition programs, it was an important opportunity for me to listen and learn.

Some of what I heard troubled me. McDonald's was mentioned repeatedly--and not in positive ways. For awhile, I tried to count the references, but eventually I gave up. I realized two important things:

- The health professionals were using McDonald's to represent not only the whole fast food industry, but sometimes the entire food industry. For them, McDonald's was a shorthand term for any and all food consumption they considered unhealthful.

- Many of them seemed not to know what our restaurants actually serve today or what we are doing to be part of the solution.

Clearly, we've got to do a better job of telling our story. What we have to share is far too much for any blog entry, so I may come back to the topic, especially if your comments show interest.
Now, if I was someone highup in a firm that became synonymous with unhealthy food, I would have taken it up as a wakeup call!


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