With the health food trend gaining popularity in the United Stated, the fast food industry is attempting to get on board. McDonald’s, being the largest fast food industry in the country, recently announced a change to their chicken recipe. McDonald’s was originally founded in 1940. Since then, the restaurant has spent years defending their heavily processed menu items. In 2004, a man by the name of Morgan Spurlock video documented himself embarking on a 30-day diet, which consisted of only food served at McDonald’s. The documentary, “Super Size Me,” was published and the results sent a clear message about the negative effects of eating food severed at McDonald’s. Below is a statement released by Morgan Spurlock, after the experimental diet was complete.
“In only 30 days of eating nothing but McDonald’s I gained 24.5 lbs., my liver turned to fat, and my cholesterol shot up 65 points. My body fat percentage went from 11 to 18%, still below the average of 22% for men and 30% for women. I nearly doubled my risk of coronary heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure. I felt depressed and exhausted most of the time, my mood swung on a dime, and my sex life was non-existent. I craved this food more and more when I ate it, and got massive cravings when I didn’t.”
Spurlock’s results were of the results of a healthy 32-year-old man, over the course of 30-days. Now, let’s talk about a major problem in the scenario; McDonald’s advertising is predominantly geared towards children. Since the video released in 2004 and the recent change in eating trends McDonalds has finally made a major change in their restaurant; but is it enough?
In 2016, McDonald’s released their “All-New Chicken McNuggets. Made with 100% white meat chicken and no artificial color, flavors, and now no artificial preservatives.” This information was released in commercial staring two children, both between the ages of 7-9, in a side-by-side frame. One child appears to be in the 90’s and the other was in the present. In the commercial, the child from the past passes his old items to the child in the present frame. As the items are passed they appear to becomes newer, cleaner, brighter, and overall better. In the end, a McDonald’s Chicken McNugget is passed and the narrator says “We all wants what’s best for our kids,” and he follows that line with the introduction of the “better” chicken nugget.
McDonald’s has spent millions of dollars in advertisement, targeting impressionable children to want food that they originally deemed “healthy.” The new commercial is still targeting children, but it does sell a convincing message to consumers. The question is, does this change anything? Is a 100% white meat chicken, with the removal of artificial flavors, colors, and preservative’s grounds for the redemption of the years spent selling fun, happiness, and acceptance to young children?
Below is a link to the commercial McDonald’s released. Their “out with the old, in with the new” message is clear, but history has proven that McDonald’s is willing to deceive and manipulate to maximize profits. Is this advertisement just following the new age trends or is the McDonald’s company taking a genuine interest in their consumer’s health?
You be the judge!
Link to commercial: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/AR6w/mcdonalds-chicken-mcnuggets-a-better-mcnugget#
Supersize Me. Dir. Morgan Spurlock. Perf. Morgan Spurlock. Roadside Attractions, Samuel Goldwyn Films, Showtime
Independent Films, 2004. DVD