After some (well deserved) bad publicity over the health effects of big macs and other offerings from the McDonald's fast food chain, a trend away from fast food seems to have started. Despite efforts to change and offer more healthy fare like salads and organic milk, Big Mac lost business in the UK. According to the British Medical Journal, profits of the fast food chain's UK branch dropped by three quarters last year.
An inversion of the fast food trend sees more people conscious of the fact that what we eat will determine our future health and I guess more people are - like I have been for years - avoiding the fast food trap.
There are alternatives - organic foods as well as whatever is locally grown and available - that bring more nutrition to our starved bodies. With supplements targeted by international regulators including the UN's Codex Alimentarius, prodded on by pharmaceutical and "big food" interests, we might want to take things into our own hands. Let's at least get the basics right and start eating healthy.
Here is the BMJ report:
McDonald's profits drop; Mars abandons king size bars
This week's British Medical Journal reports that profits of McDonald's UK arm have slumped to the lowest level in the fast food giant's 30 year history. The chain's pretax profits fell by nearly three quarters in the United Kingdom last year, to £23.6m ($42.1m).
This hefty profit slump occurred after a stream of bad publicity about the ill health effects of eating junk food. The now-famous film Super Size Me showed filmmaker Morgan Spurlock eating nothing but McDonald's meals for 30 days. Spurlock put on weight, became ill, and was told by his doctor to stop the diet after tests showed liver abnormalities.
McDonald's has tried to reverse the tide of bad publicity by introducing options such as salads and organic milk, and has even reduced the salt in its tomato sauce. Its Every Step Counts campaign gave away a free "stepometer" with every salad purchased. BMJ reports that the company will also phase out "supersizing"-upgrading your meal to include nearly 200 grams of French fries and 1.25 litres of soft drink - by next year.
But public health commentators said that the drop in profits could be a sign that the Brits are turning away from fast food. In the same week, Cadbury and Masterfoods, makers of Mars and Snickers, announced that they were to downsize their "king size" chocolate bars as of next year.
Rod Griffiths, president of the Faculty of Public Health at the Royal College of Physicians, said, "It's a step in the right direction. "We can see the signs that the food industry is beginning to get the public health message. We are seeing fresh fruit on sale in places it didn't used to be. If that is because of commercial pressure, then so be it."