Will McDonald’s Finally Beat The McWrap?

By Cindy Bishop on 10/26/2005
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McdonaldsMcDonald’s announced Tuesday they will be printing nutritional information on their wrappers in the beginning of 2006. Although, CEO Jim Skinner assures us that the company’s new found philosophy toward nutritional visibility is due to customer demand (not consumer group pressure, or the result of the embarrassing documentary ‘Supersize Me’), at least they’re taking steps to provide consumers information about their products.

Some points of interest: 

  • The information provided is based on an adult sized man.  Meaning any information about offerings targeted at children (Happy Meal’s, etc.), should be weighed carefully when considering the size, age and diet requirements of the targeted consumer.
  • The labels do not offer any distinction between saturated and trans fats, (those fats which increase the risk of heart disease).

That being said, the information on food labels shouldn’t necessarily be the deciding factor whether we eat something or not.  Occasionally we’re going to eat things that are high in calories, sat fat etc., as part of a balanced approach to eating. Intuitive eating or mindful eating – eating based on internal cues of hunger and sateity -will help us figure out when we’ve had enough of any type of food. 

Although it’s nice to have awareness around caloric content and nutritional value before you eat something, there are enough things to worry about it in the world without getting too crazy about what labels are telling you.  As long as the information is used in your overall education about healthy eating and not something to fixate on, I think it can be a useful tool. If I’m learning to listen to and trust my body to tell me when I’ve had enough, that’s the important lesson.

Hopefully, other food chains will step up to the plate and offer similar visibility.  I would like to know just how many calories and fat are in a Grande Carmel Vanilla Frappucino! Or maybe I wouldn’t…

Photo Credit: AP Photo

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2 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Ellie Dworak says:

    Good points!

    We don’t have to wait for wrappers, though! If one wants to know one can look it up on the Web – most fast food places post nutrition facts, and Calorie King posts facts for nearly everything for free. Seems to me that if yer eating at McDonalds, either you are on the road or know you’re eating a meal that sates a need other than nutritional. Which is fine, when it’s not hurting you.

    To counter my own argument, though, some of the crud in restaurant food is empirically hard on your body when consumed in excess, and sometimes foods you don’t expect might be -really- full of trans- or saturated fats, for instance, and it’s good to know to keep them to an occasional treat.

    Case in point, Chipotle (a newish Mexican chain, very yummy, high quality ingredients, but WAY more caloric than cooking the same simple foods at home. A person who doesn’t know might go there for lunch a few times a week. Check it out: http://www.chipotle.com/).

    And yeah, I like what you mention about fixating. It’s so easy to slip into that. And it always defeats my own desire to care for myself lovingly when I do! D’oh!

    Oh, and that Grande Vanilla Frappucino thingy – you’re right, you probably don’t want to know. Let’s just say I’d count it as a treat, not a daily beverage. If you DO want to know: http://www.starbucks.com.

  • Cindy says:

    All your points well taken. It is amazing what some restaurants can do to an innocent food group, isn’t it?! :)

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