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Just saw a news report that McDonald's is going to add apple slices to every Happy Meal  as part of the chain's larger push to portray itself as a healthy place to eat. Excuse me, but I've been eating at McDonald's in the United States or the Philippines for almost 50 years now and at no time did I enter Ronald McDonald's stomping grounds on the assumption I was going to be chowing down on some healthy food. Apple slices in a McDonald's Happy Meal is akin to getting apples when I went trick-or-treating as a kid instead of some cavity-inducing candy bars (caramel-covered apples were a welcome exception, however.)DSC

My favorite burger joint is also  pledging to reduce sugars, saturated fats and calories, and it says it will launch a new mobile phone app focused on nutrition information. Great, just what I need, another phone application for my free Samsung Champ phone I got from Smart Bro that I can't operate. OK, so what if McDonald's has increased it's market share with other new additions like oatmeal and smoothies. I don't go to McDonald's for oatmeal and smoothies, I go there for artery-clogging burgers and fries. Be honest with me, isn't that what the majority of people go for, their burger-and-fries-fix?

Well, what has me worried is that McDonald's in the Philippines might soon follow in the footsteps of their parent American company. I checked their website in the Philippines and clicked on the McDonald's "Happy Meal" link. I was greeting with an image of the somewhat creepy Ronald and the words: "We're working to make this page better. Please visit again soon." That's not a good omen.Maybe I'll be seeing mango slices in the Happy Meals in the Philippines instead of rice, chicken, and spaghetti. It scares me. DSC

OK, I get it. Obesity among children in the United States is running rampant. But can you blame that all on McDonald's? Honestly, when I was a kid we did something unique. WE WENT OUTSIDE AND PLAYED!  We probably burned up 1,000 calories an hour playing "Cowboys and Indians" (can I say that now? Should it be "Cowpersons and Native Americans?") With Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, 1,000 channels on the TV set versus the three I had as a youngster and video games, what time does a kid have to go outside and play? There are too many diversions for them now. 

Well, as I go back to edit this post, I'm informed that my sister-in-law, Alida,  who has a preschool at our home in Guimaras, has a "Nutrition Day" planned for today. I jokingly asked Alida if she is going to serve chips as a snack for the kids. She informed me that her pupils' parents are going to bring food for the big day. Well, some classic Filipino dishes beats a Big Mac any day in my books. I'll have to check it out and report back later.

(The above post is solely the opinion of this website's  author.  Any appearance of political correctness is strictly accidental and unintentional.)

6 thoughts on “Healthier Happy Meals. Will it Spread to the Philippines?

  1. I hear you on this Dave. Yes, I freely admit I go to Mc D’s for my burger and fries fix topped off with a coke. Being a pretty good cook I learned a long time ago that things that taste good are always high in calories.

    Maybe our favorite burger joint has something to do with the kids being obese, but I place the blame squarely on the parents. Back when we we kids yes we did plenty of outside things to burn off calories. But whose money is being spent on the high calorie meals ? Additionally when I was a kid if we went to Mc Donald’s once a month it was a real treat. Not an daily afterschool snack and yes playstations, psp’s and computers play a big part in the problem too.

    One thing left out is that I will thank Uncle Sam to stay the heck off my dinner plate. I am of legal age and perfectly capable of choosing my own meals, thank you very much!
    I don’t need or want “big brother” dictating to me what I should be eating.

    People like me already know that resturant food is high calorie. Duh “everything that tastes good IS high in calories”. I am sure not going to go out and spend money eating “healthy meals”. I eat healthy meals at home. I go out to get something that tastes good that I can’t make at home :).

    Paul in Iloilo

    1. Dave,

      I could remember everyone piling into our station wagon and going to Mcdonalds and eating in the car. Thats when burgers/fries were .15 cents each. But that was only as a special treat. We didn’t have alot of money when i was a child. Good article as usual. Be safe.

  2. Dave, Dont be suprised if mangos do show up at MICKY D’s. The Mcdonalds in Korea have Kimchee burgers. Instead of buns mad of bread they are made of rice, and instead of meat its kimchee (its really good yum) . Germany Mcdonalds has something that is made for the german palate.

    I really dont think a big mac or two will hurt a Filippino kid, from what I have seen they are much more active than their american cousins. They seem to be more like us 40 years ago, playing ball and stuff outside, instead of glued to a computer screen.

  3. Dave I do not know if the kids now days even no how to play cow boys and Indians..or if they even have a cap pistal and a holster….or a bow and arrow with rubber ends on the arrows…hahaha…..ya…if your kids had that stuff now home land surcurity would be surrounding the tree house and the home buil fort in the back yard….but your right..when your out playing cow boys and Indians you were moving fast..drawing fast and buring many calories for sure….those were the days…..no cell phone…no tv games…not sit on your butt most of your free time and turn in to a blob…yep things sure have changed for sure……

    1. Ya Dave…thats what I hear is the people in the Philippines love their cell phones. Texting of course to make the load last longer and your sure see a lot of the youngers here doing texting..My self do not even have a cell phone and fingers to big to even try to do texting on one if did and for that matter do not know how….so that is great that the kids there still get out and run around a lot..I think some do still here..but for sure not like when we were kids….yes..bb guns..sling shots…cap guns ..rock fights and the mode of transportation if you was lucky was your bicycle…and for me when a kid if was good for most of the week..got 25 cents to go to the 1st show at the movie house (not the late show )..and watch a good western and some cartoons…in fact I do not remember hearing much about tv untill I was near 12…and my Ma and Pa never got one untill I was 17…then it was hurry home from school to watch Dick Clark and band stand on Tv..(black and white )…I think what trying to say was back then you had to use ur imaganation a lot more to have fun…..be cause it was not all ready made for you….in fact I do not remember hearing about a Mc-donalds untill out of high school….so maybe for many kids there they still have to use their imaganation to have fun..and thats probably a good thing in a way..about food..here you hear all kinds of talk thru the grapevine that certain ones want to try and dictate what you can and can not eat..I belive some states even require that the cafe’s put the amount of calories each meal has by the item listed in the menu..not sure but thought read that…so who knows where it will all go..

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