How do we balance the inexpensive, convenient and arguably tasty temptations of Fast Food? With outlets on every corner, multimillion dollar marketing budgets, clever advertising campaigns and our constant graving for instant gratification; it makes it harder to escape the temptation.
I’m not one that “blames” fast food, the food industry or any other external forces for unhealthy individual choice and behavior. I’m also not prone to welcome government intervention on individual choices (freedoms).
But with that said, everyone, including the fast food industry has a societal responsibility to be… responsible. Advertising a “fourth fast food meal (a day)” and sugar with a marketing campaign titled “There’s Always Room” hits me as somewhat irresponsible advertising. Most people I know indulge in fast food on occasion. They do it with a degree of restraint and full knowledge of what they are doing, but to have blatant marketing messages asking us to “over eat” on non-nutritional junk food hits me as offensive. When the city of New York attempted to ban the “big gulp”, I was offended and felt it was overreaching and only symbolic at best. When the city of San Francisco banned McDonald’s Happy Meal Toys (San Francisco’s controversial Healthy Food Incentive Ordinance), I was offended. When McDonald’s countered with selling the toys for a mere ten cents I was duly impressed with their creativity. McDonald’s has also done quite a bit with labeling and adding some more mindful healthier options to their menu. Am I against fast food? – No. Am I against “nanny state legislation”? – Yes. Am I for blatant, harmful advertising? – I am Not.
Life is about balance and responsibility.