McDonalds turns 40 and Gives Australians the Gift of Obesity

How Ronald really looks after 40 years of eating McDonalds

McDonalds recently celebrated their 40th Anniversary in Australia – that’s right, way back in 1971, the first McDonalds opened their doors in Yagoona, Sydney.  Paul Hogan was a guest at the opening celebration and cheeseburgers were on the menu for 15c.  Who would have thought 40 years ago that the opening of one well-marketed fast food outlet could have had such an impact on the way we eat AND look?  In 40 years, Australia has encountered an obesity tsunami…and that wave keeps getting bigger! 

 You just have to look at the obesity statistics in Australia over the past 40 years to see the evidence.  A group of researchers looked at the obesity rates in Australia since 1901 to the present time, and found that back in 1901 only 4% of children were obese.  This percentage remained steady until the 1970’s when obesity rates began to climb rapidly – and now childhood obesity rates are around 30%.    In fact, overweight and obesity rates in Australia have doubled in the past two decades!

 It is an interesting comparison:  In 40 years’ the network of McDonalds’ restaurants has grown rapidly…and so too has Australian waistlines over the same timeframe! 

Can we blame McDonalds for our obesity epidemic?  Well, I guess we can’t wholly and solely but McDonalds’ did offer a new ‘convenient’ way to get a meal ‘on the run’ and this opened the door for other fast food outlets to follow in their footsteps   (such as Hungry Jacks’, KFC, Red Rooster etc).  Unfortunately, today, too many people are making fast food part of their daily diet and with the mainly high fat choices on offer, it’s no wonder Australia is fighting a losing battle against the bulge.     

There are five women though who have fought the battle of the bulge and won!  These lovely ladies are our Slimmer of the Year finalists and their combined weight loss is just over 192kg.  If you haven’t met them yet, check them out here:   http://www.slimmeroftheyear.com  – voting for your favourite one will give you a chance to win $500 lucky voters’ prize, so take the time to meet our incredible slimmers…be prepared to be amazed by their fantastic body transformations.  

To find out more about our weight loss program, call 1300 SLIMMER (754663) today and make a FREE appointment to find out how we can help you get back the body you want.  With summer only 11 weeks away, now is the time to get your beach body ready!

About Lose Weight With Sue

I am a naturopath for The Natural Way. We have 24 clinics nationally that help people to lose weight & educate on how to keep it off.
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6 Responses to McDonalds turns 40 and Gives Australians the Gift of Obesity

  1. davidnatural says:

    Sue, you are so right! The evidence is real, and cannot be ignored. Gone are the days of healthy snacks, and good wholesome food (although thankfully it is making a belated comeback). No single fast food chain carries the sole responsibility, but Burger King, McDonalds, Hungry Jacks, KFC, Red Rooster – they are all major contributors to the childhood and adult obesity we see today.

  2. davidnatural says:

    And is this what the world is coming to? An obese man sues a fast food chain (White Castle) because he cannot fit into their seats? http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8297871

  3. Matt says:

    Are you serious? What a load of rubbish!! Yes Mcdonalds food isn’t healthy in large doses but they aren’t forcing it down anyones throat with a gun to their heads.

    If people get fat it’s their own goddamn fault. Learn some self discipline and how to say NO!!!

    And to David, none of the fast food chains are responsible for childhood or adult obesity…..for the exact same reasons I wrote above. The major contributors are the bad parents or the weak willed. It’s called personal responsibility and bad parenting…..nothing else!

  4. Hi Matt – I agree with you that no-one is making people eat McDonalds. However, the marketing and advertising that McDonalds do is pretty powerful. How is it that a two year old knows who Ronald McDonald is and that they want to go to McDonalds to get a Happy Meal with a toy in it? Clever marketing strategies pitched at the young and vulnerable, has meant that kids have ‘grown up’ with the McDonalds brand firmly imprinted in their psyche. I just think that it is a big coincidence that Australian obesity rates have exploded in the past 40 years and so too has the opening of fast food restaurants. While this may not be the sole cause to the problem, it definitely is a contributing factor. There was a great article today that highlights how serious the obesity problem is becoming:
    http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/were-a-nation-of-fat-sad-drinkers-survey-finds-20110914-1k89a.html

  5. davidnatural says:

    Matt, it’s not as simple as you make it sound. Kids start forming brand loyalty from the age of 2 (source: http://www.naturalnews.com/020920_junk_food_marketing_nutrition.html). Go back to 1991 in the USA, when Camel cigarettes were a major brand. “According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in 1991, almost all 6-year-olds living in the United States could identify Joe Camel, making him as recognizable to them as Mickey Mouse. Then, another study discovered that Camels make up one-third of all cigarettes illegally sold to minors.”

    Put that verifiable research together with facts like McDonalds buns used to contain more sugar than ‘regular’ bread (they were so high in sugar they were actually confectionary, bot bread) and parents were innocently feeding their children unhealthy foods, and getting them hooked on McDonalds for life. Those kids on the 60’s and 70’s became the adult consumers as they grew, and taight their kids the same bad habits.

    In 1998, 89 percent of children under age eight visited McDonald’s at least once a month. Their vice president of marketing said that McDonald’s goal for the following year was 100 percent. A study of nearly 10,000 children showed that 100 percent of those in the United States recognized Ronald McDonald; the figures were 98 percent in Japan and 93 percent in the United Kingdom.

    It probably only since the McLibel case in 1997 initiated by McDonalds (in which the court ruled in favour of a number of the defendants’ claims, including that McDonald’s exploited children in its advertising), that McDonalds really sought to improve the ‘healthiness’ of their food. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McLibel_Case and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonald's_legal_cases.

    So I stick by me assertion that the advent of McDonalds and other fast food (junk food) companies have a direct correlation to the increase in childhood (and adolescent and adult) obesity.

  6. To further support my arguement re McDonalds contributing to Australia’s growing weight problem, an article today was published which states that Australians spend money on McDonalds (per head of capita) than any other country in the world:
    http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/nationalrural/agribusiness-and-general/finance/whats-on-the-mcdonalds-shopping-list/2286726.aspx

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