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Providing people an opportunity to eat unhealthy food

  1. Sep 3, 2004 #1
    I work there and I feel a bit guilty for providing people an opportunity to eat unhealthy food. People make their own choice to eat there but still, you wouldn't taunt an alcoholic with a beer and call it moral.

    I'm just curious if this forum things the service provided and the charity work done by McDonald's overweighs the negative things it helps create. I won't be offended by any answers.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2004 #2


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    Since its their product itself you have a problem with, charity work is irrelevant. That said, I don't see any moral issue with McDonalds' unhealthy food. On my lazier days, I eat meals of iced cream and doritos, washed down with soda. Its all a choice. The alcoholic bit is different because alcoholism is an illness - hunger isn't.

    edit: btw, as I wrote this, I finished up a Wendy's value meal. My friends would consider me to be in great shape (ie, I'm not overweight).
  4. Sep 3, 2004 #3
    Actually, I wouldn't call McDonalds food unhealthy. Only the patterns in which we, in the west, tend to consume it as unhealthy.

    While I wouldn't go out of my way to put alcohol into the hands of a alcoholic, but at the same time, I wouldn't put myself into the position of making personal decisions for another grown person. I've made decisions for my children, but as they reach the age of majority, they start to live with all the consequences of their actions. I've very strong feelings against one person making decisions for another, i.e. becoming anothers Mom or Dad, just because they disagree with the personal consequences.
  5. Sep 3, 2004 #4
    I tend to agree. The quantity of McDonalds food is really what determines whether or not it is unhealthy. Too much of nearly any food is not good for the body.

    For a long time, though, it seems that the public was not aware of the nutrition content of McDonalds food and therefore could not make informed decisions about how much to eat there. Thus, when some people ate too much there, the excess calories became stored as fat. It has changed since then as nutrition information has been made available.
  6. Sep 3, 2004 #5
    Ah, I see. I think it's fine in moderation of course. I'm just getting curious if obesity is getting to the point where the government might as well control diets through limiting restaurant use. People lose love one's because of unhealthy eating, they shouldn't have to suffer. Sadly the more I look into society and morals the more I think freedom needs to be limited.

    It doesn't seem like the ability to waste away on cigarettes, alcohol and unhealthy food (for examples) warrants them being around with all the reprocussions.

    I already think Alcohol should be banned. It's extremely unbeneficial in my eyes. The same applies for smoking. Yet I'm not sure where to draw the line. Unhealthy eating still effects people even if they don't do it themselves. Not exercising affects other people if they exercise regulary.

    Should people accept the consequences of associating with unhealthy individuals? Those people are in the workplace and that would be extremely difficult to accomplish, if not futile.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2004
  7. Sep 4, 2004 #6


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    hehe, Wendy's is darned good :smile:

    ultimately it is a choice where people decide to eat when it comes to eating fast foods vs. eating at the salad bar...i have to admit, mcdonald's and other fast foods places here in the states has done a great job at providing more options for those watching what they eat when going out. what i think is more of an issue with this is those parents who constantly bring their children out to eat at these places because there is not enough time at home to cook better meals for them...of course, i notice this only because i am a parent myself :shy: the occasional trip out to mcdonald's for kids i think is harmless however. as the saying goes: everything in moderation and i think this can apply to eating fast foods...
  8. Sep 4, 2004 #7
    There's a difference between hunger and appetite.
  9. Sep 4, 2004 #8


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    care to elaborate?
  10. Sep 4, 2004 #9


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    The day the government decides what I should eat is the day they pay for it and everything else concerning me. I have no idea how they will do it though because they won't be getting any money from me.
  11. Sep 4, 2004 #10
    One could say that overeating (and eating crap food) is an illness as much as alcoholism. It is characterized by uncontrolled desire to consume harmful substances. Hell, a person can be genetically predisposed to either of them.
  12. Sep 4, 2004 #11


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    plenty of people have eating disorders-they just aren't anorexia and bulemia...plenty of people are addicted to high sugar foods-donuts, cookies, soda, etc. and don't have their consumption in moderation. i don't see overeating as dangerous to others however as alcoholism can be with drinking & driving, and some people's tendency to be abusive when intoxicated...
  13. Sep 5, 2004 #12
    The governent can't limit the food for people who want to eat it. The overweight big-mac junkies could still get fraudulent food passes (or whatever else you use to moniter one's diet). Crack-cocaine is illegal, but there are still people who use it. As far as alcohol, in the U.S.A. they tried prohibiting it (1920-1933). It didn't work. In fact it gave a boost to organized crime (through bootlegging).

    I would suggest more education, but maybe that's not a solution. Just like smokers know that ciggarrettes are unhealthy, overeaters know that incessant fast food consumption is unhealthy. They still make the choice anyway.

    Some people need help, (not legislation) in making the right choices. Bad choices will always exist.
  14. Sep 6, 2004 #13
    You could be overweight and still be in great shape. That is to say, you could be very muscular and therefore be overweight.
  15. Sep 6, 2004 #14


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    Defining "overweight" in terms of height vs weight is flawed for that reason. I prefer body fat percentage (which is used in the military for those outside of the normal height vs weight criterea). In any case, I'm not musclebound.
  16. Sep 17, 2004 #15
    I agree with you, without proper guidance (also due to the current lazy lifestyle), many people over eat, and then it piles up...
    This is just being stupid, you know that most people's term of 'overweight' means that they have excessive fat.
  17. Sep 17, 2004 #16
    For the last three months while here on my internship in new mexico, I've been really really lazy. I barely excersize if at all, no running or sports. I also am so lazy I can't stand to make food for myself in my apartment; I hate doing dishes. So I go out and get food and fast food almost every day. I have not had any adverse health effects and I've actually LOST weight. The key to my diet is to, like stated previously, limit the intake of your food. If you're not excersizing and your kilocal output is less than your intake, then of course you'll gain weight. But your body can, by laws of thermodynamics, operate by consuming the same calories that you output. So my key was that I would only eat once a day, at 3 or 4 in the afternoon. The biggest problem is getting over the hunger factor, which is due to a stomach thats too large and has too much acid. So after a few days of once-a-day meals, I stopped feeling hungry. I also don't feel tired like you would from malnourishment. I get lots of water(NM is a dry state, always have to be drinking). And I take vitamins.

    Its all about quantity, and matching up what you output to what you input. Input > output = fat; input < output = tired.
  18. Sep 17, 2004 #17


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    It's true that you won't gain weight so long as you burn more calories than you intake. However, eating one meal a day isn't optimal for your health. Human metabolism runs most efficiently when there is constant intake of small portions, probably due to our history as hunters and gatherers. Eating only one or two meals a day triggers metabolism into storing greater quantities of calories as fat. While I don't doubt that you have lost weight, much of it has probably been muscle, and your body fat percentage is likely higher than it was. Also, only eating one meal can make it difficult to ingest more than 1200 calories per day, which is usually the advised minimum daily caloric intake.
  19. Sep 19, 2004 #18
  20. Oct 9, 2004 #19
    I am afraid this reads more like a scientific thread rather than a philisophical value thread :(

    By refusing to serve the aweful food (making the assumption that it is that bad) you would be replaced by another low paid worker without a second thought on part of McDonalds. From a broader perspective, you could not be personally harming that person because it is not you forcing that person to eat it. He or she would go next door to the next fast food chain. Society on the other hand is absolutely responsible for: making such unhealthy food available, making that product "cool", failing to educate it's citizens about the health hazards, and most importantly not paying it's people enough to allow them the option of another diet.

    You have to realize that a significant portion of McDonalds consumers are underpaid and probably cannot afford to eat at a higher quality restaurant on a regular basis. This shouldn't be an excuse to blame society though, because after all, you are society as much as you are an individual.

    (My apologies if this does not make sense- it is 1 AM and this is a behemoth question)
  21. Oct 9, 2004 #20
    Meal frequency and damage from postprandial glucose rise

    Many CR Society members each eat one large meal once every 24 hours. At least one CR Society member has been known to eat at the frequency of one large meal every 48 hours. It has been surmised that this may have the health advantage of reducing the frequency of postprandial (post-meal) glucose rise events.
  22. Oct 9, 2004 #21


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    I have to completely disagree with this statement based on what I see everyday. A person that I know quite well that makes well over 50K annually eats at McD's at least 5 times a week because he can afford it. His salary has afforded him such a busy social life that he has no time to cook a homemade meal. For one person to eat at McDonald's one meal a day each week would cost easily over $30. For $30, once can buy enough nutriscious food to make 7 meals. No one forces anyone to eat out, it is a choice.
  23. Oct 9, 2004 #22
    The original question posed is an interesting one. There are many related questions that you would have to answer before coming to a yes or no answer.

    Firstly, the detriments caused by fast food far outweigh any charity work, IMO. There is the problem of the unhealthiness of the food. There is also the problem of overconsumption which leads us to deplete natural resources at an ever-accelerating rate. I haven't looked into the economics of it too much, so I can't say for sure, but our overconsumption may deprive others in less-developed areas of resources today. Lastly, and most importantly, I think, the suffering of the billions of animals that are used and abused so their bodies and excretions can be used as food by us is so great that nothing McDonald's could do could make up for it.

    Also, as far as your personal decision to work there, there are some questions to be answered. Does it end up making a difference whether or not you work there? Will the system continue on just the same without you? Will there be any decrease in the consumption of unhealthy McFood (yes, it is unhealthy in even small quantities--unless you have a really bad situation to compare it to, such as starvation) if you quit? Do you wish to serve as an example to others? Or would you just keep your decision to yourself? By quitting, you could send a message that you don't want to take part in it, or you could not send a message (neutral). By continuing to work there, you are (whether you want to or not) sending a message that you think McDonald's is all right.

    When I was younger, I worked at McDonald's. Eventually, I quit because I thought that McDonald's (and other fast food restaurants) propelled the disposable society mentality, which I thought was a big environmental problem...little did I even know of the much greater environmental problems caused by animal agriculture (which dwarf those of wrappers and paper bags). Looking back upon it, I'm glad that I quit, although I'm not sure my original reasons were strong enough reasons. Luckily, I didn't need a job at the time.
  24. Oct 9, 2004 #23
    Just because they do it doesn't mean that it's correct. It is a known fact that going for long periods between meals can induce your body's metabolism to go into "starvation mode," where it will use as little energy as possible and store as much of the food that it does get as fat.
  25. Oct 9, 2004 #24
    Good observation. But I still believe that the person lacks objectivity in the matter due to social pressure, advertising, etc. Society pushes the person to eat there and society is therefore responsible. Our decisions are made based upon our consciousness. So if our consciousness is aware only of McDonalds (an extreme case), we will only eat at McDonalds.
  26. Oct 9, 2004 #25
    I quit working at McDonald's and had my last shift the weekend before this one. I quit because of school, boredom with the job itself, and moral reasons. I do agree with meat eating but I think animals should be treated in a more humane way if they're going to be used for meat. I'm satisfied with my decision and luckily money isn't an issue at this time. Furthermore, I just don't feel McDonald's contributes postively - or atleast postively in an amount that justifies all the negative results caused by fast food restaurant.

    Society can be blamed for almost anything but I try to remember that everyone is a part of society.
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