Counting calories at McDonald’s
Will burgers and fries lose their appeal once we have the numbers in our face?
March 5, 2013 3:44 by Muhammad Aldalou
When Kipp attended a McDonald’s Arabia conference in Dubai earlier this week – and listened to Managing Director Yousif Abdulghani talk about the company’s latest initiative to boost corporate transparency – we had just one question on our mind.
When the fast-food chain (or quick service chain, as they prefer to call it) fulfills its promise of displaying nutrition information on all of its packaging, won’t it discourage its customers from stepping into a McDonald’s restaurant again?
Let’s face facts: the fast-food lovers among us are well aware how unhealthy those delicious fatty, double-patty burgers are. And with those calories staring right at you as you try to enjoy your ‘guilty treat’, how malleable do you reckon your conscience will be? And more to the point, do we really want to know the amount of calories, fat, sodium, sugar and cholesterol we’re consuming with every bite of fast food? If we did, surely we wouldn’t be eating it as often, would we? You’ll be hard pushed to find a regular ‘calorie-counter’ stuffing his face at a McDonald’s, unless, of course, it was his bi-monthly treat. He’d more likely be in the sushi place next door inhaling ‘dangerous’ amounts of pure protein.
It’s completely understandable why McDonald’s Arabia would want to be more informative and transparent – what with the global sentiment about the food industry being particularly negative – but this nutritional information doesn’t tell us about the actual contents of the food, just its substances. Yes, we do want to know if there’s donkey meat mashed in with our potatoes, but not the calorie count of a single chip.
McDonald’s isn’t new to healthy living. Back in 2004 introduced a variety of salads, fresh juices and apple bites to its menu. Who eats a salad at McDonald’s anyway? Until a year ago, Kipp thought those were just plastic ornaments to help brighten the place up. . .
Yet we digress. Back to the conference, where one of the audience members asked Abdulghani about the rationale behind the new scheme, to which he said: “We believe in presenting all of the information to our customers so they can make their own informed choices.”
And that they are. With Abdulghani revealing how the majority of customers still can’t get enough of burgers and fries.