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.)
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.
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.)