Hypocrisy Burger

A ranting article by Sydney Smith at TechCentralStation suggests that people should quit complaining about the cheap, fatty, sugar-filled food at places like McDonalds — it’s good for you! As long as you also go to a nice gym and get some exercise.

[T]he data suggest that clamoring at corporations isn’t likely to make much of a dent in the obesity epidemic. Which leaves the question of who will be the next target of the crusaders when the assault on restaurants fails.

Just coincidentally, one of the ad bars on above this article’s headline was for… McDonald’s.

This makes for the lovely image you see above, with a young buff aryan lad on a weight machine framed by a dripping cheeseburger. See how the grease makes his muscles look more sexy? And if you get fries with your expensive gym membership, then capitalism wins! Supersize it for America.

To empirically prove his point about the laziness of fat people, Smith cites a study in an MSNBC article suggesting that kids today are more overweight even though they eat roughly the same number of calories as they did in the past. One conclusion is that teenagers are gaining weight primarily due to a lack of exercise, but for some reason this study does not look at what kind of food their calories come from. Just coincidentally, “the study was funded by an unrestricted grant from the National Soft Drink Association.”

Smith also cites a study of two groups of Pima Indians, one in “a remote, mountainous area of Northwest Mexico,” and one in an area near Phoenix, Arizona. In this study, “questionnaires revealed more time spent on occupational activities among Mexican Pima compared with USA Pima.” One conclusion is that physical activity plays a large role in weight, but for some reason this study also doesn’t examine the actual diet of the two communities, one in remote rural mountains, and one in the American suburbs. Just coincidentally, Phoenix was the location of the first McDonald’s franchise.

[The link to Smith’s article came from Glenn Reynolds, the New York Times of Blogs, who coincidentally also writes for Tech Central Station.]

So let’s just say that increasing obesity has nothing whatsoever to do with Bread for the World Institute helps them out a little:

Recent work from Cornell University and the University of California at Davis suggest that obesity among poor women may be linked to their habit of periodically going without food so that their children can eat.

Others factors also increase poor people’s risk of obesity. Many low-income Americans more likely are consuming foods low in nutritional quality and high in calories, fats and sugars because these are the cheapest foods. Healthier foods such as meat, fish, fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains often are more expensive in low-income neighborhoods than alternative junk food. Cash-strapped families increasingly rely on fast food chains, which promote “value” meals, such as oversized burgers, extra-large servings of fries and buckets of soda.

Moreover, poor neighborhoods often lack large grocery stores that typically offer the lowest prices and greatest range of brands, package sizes and quality choices, and farmers markets that sell locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables. Transportation to these large grocery stores and farmers markets also may be unavailable or expensive. Consequently, many mothers in low-income neighborhoods depend on their corner convenience stores — stocked with mostly high-cost processed, pre-packaged foods — to feed their families. Exacerbating this problem, poor families, especially those living in urban areas, often do not have safe areas for physical activity: Burning calories or exercising is half of the weight control solution.

In an effort to disgust rational observers into silence, Smith and Reynolds conclude that these families should take the money and time which they would have devoted to feeding their children, and instead pay a fee at a gym.

Willful idiocy or finger lickin’ bloodthirst? Who cares! Wireless internet, dude!

Hey, didja know there’s something called a McSchool sandwich? Just don’t complain about it if you’re a student…

The Wall Street Journal has all the inside dirt on Ronald:

McDonald’s conducts extensive background checks on Ronald candidates, but that hasn’t always prevented mishaps. One former Ronald is a vegetarian who has since joined forces with animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals to chide the chain. “I feel badly about what I’ve done with young people,” says Geoffrey Giuliano, who played Ronald in Canada in the early 1980s. “I was the happy face on something that was horrendous.”

Joe Maggard, another former Ronald, pleaded guilty in 1998 to a charge of carrying a concealed weapon in New Hanover County, N.C., and the next year was convicted in county court of making harassing phone calls posing as a Ronald. The judge ordered him to take anger-management classes. “I’m one of the bad-boy Ronalds,” says Mr. Maggard, an actor who portrayed Ronald in the mid-’90s. “Am I a bad guy? No, I’m not a bad guy. Did Ronald get in a little trouble down there? Yes.”

This kid had a run in with Ronald on a bad day.