Get Ready for McDonald's Food to Taste Worse Than It Already Does

mcdonald's happy mealBowing to the pressure and blame it receives for contributing to the nation's obesity epidemic, McDonald's announced Tuesday that it is making a series of short- and long-term healthy improvements to its menu.

Namely, the fast food chain will begin in September serving a fruit or vegetable with every Happy Meal -- apples, carrots, pineapple slices, raisins, or mandarin oranges -- while reducing the portion of French fries. Also, the company says it reduced the amount of sodium in its food by 15 percent. And, it's pledging to work toward even more dietary reductions -- in sugars, saturated fat, and calories -- in the years to come and has hired a third-party entity to report on its progress.

Basically, McDonald's is doing what we're too stubborn to do ourselves -- make healthy choices when we're eating out. And, the food is going to be the worse for it.

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Ever notice how a McDonald's cheeseburger tastes exactly like McDonald's Chicken Selects, which in turn taste exactly like its French fries? Of course you have. We all know what McDonald's food tastes like -- that's exactly why we eat there. It's not great, but it's what we come to expect and, in some cases, even crave.

Because we as customers can't limit our portions of these foods or the number of times a week we frequent the restaurants, now those items we have been accustomed to are going to have less salt, less sugar, and, subsequently, likely more flavor additives (it has to taste like something, right?). The food has to change -- and likely suffer for it -- because we ourselves can't change our habits.

Of course, that's not to say McDonald's doesn't have some responsibility; its relentless marketing strategies -- targeting both kids and adults -- and its lack of healthy options absolutely contribute to getting us hooked on their product. But we have to acknowledge what we can do to reduce obesity -- perhaps demand healthier, affordable real food items (salads, fruit, etc.) from our convenient fast food chains and learn to supplement these items with smaller amounts of the more indulgent offerings.

But simply making do with crappy, bad-tasting, reduced-sodium food just because it's habitual and cheap is not an acceptable long-term solution.

 

Image via C@RiTo1/Flickr

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