McDonald’s have agreed that the number of calories in their products will be listed on menu boards in all its 1,200 outlets from this Sunday. They have been working with the government who are very concerned about obesity within the UK population.
McDonald’s have agreed to remove artificial trans-fats from their produce but refused to lower the salt content of their produce. The government has been “talking” to McDonalds as well as other high street food outlets including KFC, Pizza Hut and Starbucks to try and find a way to be seen to be doing something about the free availability of potentially damaging foods.
Are Fast Food Companies Just Protecting Their Interests?
The problem is that these types of business employ a large number of people and contribute a large amount of money to the economy. These fast food and drink outlets also spend a large amount of money lobbying the government to protect their interests.
By reducing the fat/salt/sugar content of their produce and by making the calorie content of the items more freely available the government hope it will make a difference to the obesity levels of the UK. The fast food and drink outlets want as few changes as possible but still want to be seen to be caring and concerned.
This has resulted in the government not making the radical changes many say are necessary to have any impact on obesity levels and has also resulted in the fast food and drink companies making small changes here and there but trying to steer change away from dramatic intervention in the form of laws.
Do Fast Food Companies Want You Well Informed?
In my opinion without a dramatic change in how people live and what they eat the obesity epidemic will only get worse. By allowing the producers of the types of food and drink that can have a big impact on weight gain (if they are not part of a balanced lifestyle) to retain the control over what is done it leaves the door open to abuse as well as slow and inconsequential change. These businesses do not want their customers to live healthy and active lives. They don’t want their customers to know exactly what is in their products.
They don’t want their customers to be educated about how too much of their product could shorten lives. The fast food and drink companies have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo so without dramatic government intervention, they will continue to do the very bare minimum to educate and inform their customers.
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