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“Eat Like An Olympic Athlete”…At McDonald’s?

McDonald's new commercials suggests that Olympic athletes, whose career depends on the health and fitness of their bodies, eat Big Macs and chicken nuggets.

McDonald's french fries

Photo: food in mouth

According to new advertisements from McDonald's, french fries form a part of an Olympic athlete's diet.

McDonald’s, a corporate sponsor of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, has recently launched a new Olympic-themed marketing campaign.

The slogan: “Now, you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to eat like one”. Implying that eating at McDonalds…will somehow put you in the same class as elite athletes.

Advertising is seldom celebrated for its honesty, but,the new McDonald’s marketing campaign seems to be especially disingenuous with its suggestions that the path to becoming a successful athlete is paved with Big Macs and chicken nuggets…especially at a time when Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign is seeking to address the forces that contribute to childhood obesity (commercial television is one of them).

Watch One Of The Ads

Check out McDonald’s advertising campaign in Canada, featuring several Canadian Olympic athletes chowing down on their “favorite” McDonald’s meals:

Blogger Monika Evstatieva criticizes McDonald’s advertising strategies surrounding the Winter Olympics on NPR’s Tell Me More.

Evstatieva calls attention to evidence that disproves the claims in the McDonalds ads – that Olympic athletes eat fast food, including American Olympic medalist, snowboarder Lindsey Jacobellis’s, statement that she strictly eats organic food to maintain a healthy and fit body.

McDonald’s attempt to portray their food products as promoting a healthy lifestyle is not new for the fast-food giant.  Over the past few years, their menu has evolved to feature “healthier” choices of salads and kid’s meals that feature apples and milk instead of french fries and soda.

Read More:

Laura Bult

Laura Bult is a spring intern with Earth Eats and a senior at Indiana University majoring in International Studies, with minors in English Literature and Spanish.

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  • Phillyfoul

    Some athletes that consume 7-8000 calories a day just to keep weight on. Michael Phelps claims to eat around 10,000 calories a day. How on earth would you do that? 10,000 calories of fruit and veggies? I think not. Calorie dense food is a must for some athletes that train 8+ hours a day. The main messages about health and diet should come from the home anyway. Coca-Cola is also a sponsor, carbonated sugar water. That makes less sense to me.

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