The power of fast food

20130707-235330.jpg The power of fast food is huge. A recent comment on a Ted Talk summed it up well “the global processed/fast food sectors are 1/5 the size of the US economy, about 3 Trillion USD (depending on what categories are included). Annual industry profits of ~150 Billion USD are derived from the ability to sell cheaply produced sugars and fats at inflated prices.” Yep, 3 Trillion Dollars holds a lot of power!

The commenter on the Ted Talk from the Peter Attia talk went on to say that “industry leaders defend these profits by spending heavily on marketing to children and lobbying to legislatures worldwide.”

I experienced this first hand recently.

My eldest two kids play in a winter softball league. Each Saturday morning at 0830 they play a different team in their league. It’s early morning, around breakfast time.

One Saturday they were playing against a local team sponsored by MacDonalds – the opposing team have the ‘golden arches’, the ‘bid M’, the ‘Mackey D’ sign on the front and the back of their shirts.

They don’t keep score in the ‘little league’ it’s all about taking part. The game comes to an end, everyone sings a song, big group hug then home time. Nice.

As I am walking back to the car with my two girls I ask them how the game was – my youngest daughter replies “yeah it was good, but all I could think about was eating McDonalds”. Wow.

A mixture of emotions; and thoughts came over me – ‘What have I done for my daughter to think that?’, ‘Wow, McD has a huge influence on our kids’, ‘Maybe fastfood sponsorship of little league is as bad as cigarette sponsorship of racing cars’, ‘WTF’.

So, fastfood is a 3 Trillion US Dollar annual turnover business and they have certainly got children hooked at an early age.

Would you let your kid play for a McDonalds softball team? Would you let your son / daughter race for Rothmans F1 team? Is it the same?

One Comment on “The power of fast food

  1. Yes it is the same. In fact it’s worse. Children aren’t allowed to smoke until they are 16. These fast food outlets set bad habits in children right from an early age. Once those habits are ingrained through their early years, they will forever be fighting against them. Hence the obesity epidemic in Westernised countries.

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