So in news that will surprise almost no one, a study has concluded that people don’t go to fast food shops to eat ‘healthy food’. Looking at 26 Subway and McDonalds shops in Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the researchers found that despite having healthy options on the menus such as salads and less than 6g of fat subs, 97% of patrons didn’t choose those options. Of the 3% who did, 80% were women, over 14 years of age, and often eating as part of a group. So fat shaming works on a small percentage of women over 14 when they are eating in a group.
What else does this tell us?
“(Purchasers) from the Subway store … felt that the meal they had purchased was healthier, regardless of whether it was nutritionally promoted.”
That Subway advertising works, for sure. Since they don’t sell chips (fries) I’m guessing that your average meal from Subway would be lower in fat than McDonalds, but not necessarily in sugar as you can still buy the same soft drinks and biscuits from Subway. I haven’t been to Subway for a while so I’m not sure if there is much option apart from high GI white bread.
I think the really interesting issue here, not mentioned in the article but raised by Tigtog a couple of weeks ago, is that eating fatty food is now promoted as being ‘manly’. Angry Angus burgers, ‘burgers’ consisting of two chicken fillets with cheese and bacon in between, an ad I heard on the radio this morning that said “if you can eat two of our [name I can’t remember] burgers and finish a beer then we will give you the meal free and ‘treat you like the hero you are'”. So I guess my question is, if we do have the much mooted Obesity Crisis, when is the focus going to turn to what men are being encouraged to eat in order to be manly?
So fat shaming works on a small percentage of women over 14 when they are eating in a group.
Another small part of it could be vegetarians (also predominantly female). Vegies probably aren’t going to go to McD’s for lunch themselves. But if they’re in a group, and the group decides to go there, then the vegie is going to choose the healthy option because it’s the only one that without meat. Subway only has one vegetarian option too.
I don’t know if they took vegetarians into account, because that would skew the results if they didn’t.
@Mindy – I didn’t think there were any vegetarian options… I could be wrong – I don’t usually go to maccas unless i’m desperate, but the last time I went all there was for me was chips.
I remember a letter from a doctor to The Age a few years ago, complaining about how the obesity crisis wasn’t taken seriously, and how a certain percentage of men were overweight or obese, and a somewhat smaller percentage of women were overweight or obese. He concluded with “so if all women could just remain the size they were when they were 18, there would be no crisis!” I LOLed so hard cereal came out of my nose.
@lilacsgil: Don’t you know? Lady-weight counts for double OMGCRISIS points!
As a vegan, I second everyone re: fast food options for vegos are thin on the ground. Subway have veggie patties and salad sandwiches, but they’re probably the most substantial non-salad options available.
Alien Tea – I used to have a vegetarian friend who loved McDonalds. Used to just order the burgers without meat.
The results of the study are interesting in that it probably means that forcing fast food restaurants to provide healthy options or even information about what is healthy or not probably won’t help much.
Personally I’d love to see more fast food places that do offer healthier options to have playgrounds. My daughter doesn’t especially like the food, but she does love the playgrounds. And there aren’t many alternatives around when it comes to covered or indoor playgrounds – or even outdoor ones where food is conveniently close.
I read somewhere that people who go to places that offer healthy food, like McDonald’s (even though McDonald’s also offer a lot of unhealthy food), feel healthy regardless of what they eat. Or at least healthier than they would’ve felt if they had gone to a restaurant with only unhealthy options on the menu. It’s quite interesting I think.
Sorry for bad English by the way, I’m not a native speaker. Hope my point came across despite that.
I’d just like more options without freaking gluten in them. Also having to go gluten free now means that people think I am magically cool with eating huge hunks of red meat. Who would have thought that the healthiest diet for me now regularly includes bacon, chips and chocolate, because these usually don’t have gluten or sulphites…
@Hendo – I have a lovely workmate who is violently allergic to gluten. For some reason whenever we have work functions gluten free seems to = vegetarian (which she is not). Worse it is ‘this is what is currently lying around the kitchen that we could throw together because we forgot’ salad in most cases.