Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Good, The Bad and The Obese

A couple weeks ago, long before the Terri Schiavo case ripped the feeding tube from the collective American consciousness, I expounded on Morgan Spurlock's anti-McDonald's documentary "Super-Size Me." I actually enjoyed watching it, and I respect Mr. Spurlock's position, but I had some problems in principle with his views and let loose herein. My diatribe, which was far too long, completely heavy-handed and thoroughly snooze-inducing, can be found here for those interested parties (including lawyers for McDonald's, Mr. Spurlock, Bette Davis, the Pope, Captain Kangaroo and Madonna's personal trainer's brother, Ned).

Essentially, I think, contrary to Mr. Spurlock's view, that anyone who eats fast food or other unhealthy fare shouldn't search for a way to point a finger at the supplier of said unhealthy fare (Mr. Spurlock's "experiment" was spurred by two girls who sued, unsuccessfully, McDonald's for making them obese). We're in charge of our own bodies, for the most part (unless we are in a persistent vegetative state and don't have a living will and reside in a hospice in the state of Florida -- in which case we'll linger for a decade and a half before we can finally move on). In other words, while I understood Mr. Spurlock's intention in his documentary, the responsibility lies with the consumer to make intelligent judgements prior to gorging themselves on seven six-piece McNuggets and a gallon-sized Chocolate Shake and two boxes of McDonald-land Cookies, before washing it down with a gallon of Coke. It's about common sense, and if you're too stupid to know better -- and actually need to review the nutrition info to know that fried foods doused in sugary sauces, consumed en masse, is unhealthy -- you're in need of a legal guardian or a nurse, not a lawyer.

Yesterday, word from CNN Money came that, not to be outdone, Burger King is now going head-to-head (or is that roll to roll) with McDonald's in the Breakfast market; seems McDonald's has been kicking Burger King's ass every morning, so Burger King finally upped the ante in what should inspire profuse sweating on the part of every All-You-Can-Eat Breakfast Buffet manager: it's called the "Enormous Omelet Sandwich" and it's a doozy. Forget special sauce, lettuce, cheese, etc.; this bad boy packs a sausage patty, two eggs, two slices of American cheese and three strips of bacon onto a bun. It boasts 730 calories and 47 grams of fat, which beats the Whopper (700 calories, 42 grams of fat) and Burger King's own Fabulous French Toast Platter, which sports three slices of French toast, two bacon strips and two sausage links (and 1261 calories and 79 grams of fat). Ah, choices... The article, if you're interested, is here.

Despite the country embracing a "trend" of healthier eating, Burger King is doing its part, along with McDonald's, Wendy's, IHOP and Denny's, to keep Weight Watchers and Liposuction as two buzzwords for not simply the future but the present as well. And this all would be comical, except for the sad expectation that Burger King serving up death on a bun will surely inspire more people to pointing fingers at fast food restaurants rather than their own eating habits. And while I quite nearly despise most of these restaurants, it would follow that each of us should be responsible for what we ingest. Blaming a bar for serving someone too many drinks is legally compensatory in part because alcohol innebriates and clouds judgement, and it's very easy for someone to have one or two too many without knowing they've had too much prior to driving. That's a fine line -- but blaming Burger King for selling a fat guy a whopper and a shake, or chastising McDonald's for selling the 24 Big Macs to your Uncle Fred right before he had his sextuple bypass is ludicrous, if not dangerous. If nothing else, I anticipate warning labels -- similer to those found on movies, music, cigarettes, alcohol, amusement park rides and anything else that is fun -- to be on the entry doors of fast food restaurants. The first would be "Eat Sensibly" and the second, my own personal creation, would be "Get Out Fat Fucks."

I personally prefer the latter, but it's a long shot.

1 comment:

Kaia said...

Some sales exec is eating one this morning - the smell of grease is wafting into my office...lovely.

Everyone's giving him shit about it. It's pretty funny actually.

Oh - and it's huge. HUGE.