This story should not surprise me, but it does. Sort of. Kiera Butler wrote an article for Mother Jones titled, “I Went to the Nutritionists’ Annual Confab. It Was Catered by McDonald’s.”
One recent Friday afternoon, in a Mariott Hotel ballroom in Pomona, California, I watched two women skeptically evaluate their McDonald’s lunches. One peered into a plastic bowl containing a salad of lettuce, bacon, chicken, cheese, and ranch dressing. The other arranged two chocolate chip cookies and a yogurt parfait on a napkin. “Eww,” she said, gingerly stirring the layers of yogurt and pink strawberry goop. The woman with the salad nodded in agreement, poking at a wan chicken strip with her plastic fork.
When I asked how they were liking their lunches, both women grimaced and assured me that they “never” go to McDonald’s. So why were they eating it today? Well, they didn’t really have a choice. The women were registered dietitians halfway through day two of the annual conference of the California Dietetic Association (CDA). They were hoping to rack up some of the continuing education credits they needed to maintain their certification. McDonald’s, the conference’s featured sponsor, was the sole provider of lunch. “I guess it’s good to know that they have healthier options now,” said the woman with the salad.
She mentioned some of the other sponsors included Coca-Cola, Hershey, Yum Brands, Kraft, and Wal-Mart, and more. Basically it was a who’s who of major corporations and special interests groups that are poisoning our health.
Our country has an obesity epidemic. We have several other health issues that can be classified as epidemics as well. And it’s no wonder. The professionals, the people who make the menus for our children, the people who teach us how to eat right, the people who write the books on the subject, get their information, and often times, their salaries, from the very companies that profit on our ignorance.