McDonald’s Isn’t ‘Healthy,’ Lady – Stop Lying

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shutterstock_114016336The director of nutrition at McDonald’s would like to assure you that McDonald’s is a healthy choice for kids. She’s a liar.

Last week, a consumer group studied children’s meals at popular fast food restaurants and came to the conclusion that every children’s meal offered at the leading fast food chains “fell short of standards adopted by the center from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s nutritional recommendations.” Just days before that, Cindy Goody, director of nutrition for McDonald’s was asked by the Salt Lake Tribune if you could really make processed foods healthy – to which she replied, “Yes, absolutely.”

She insists that she lets her own kids eat McDonald’s, and that she has a steady diet of McDonald’s herself:

I’m a mom of a 2-year old and I gained the prerequisite 30 pounds and I was able to lose all that baby weight. I don’t have a fast metabolism and I eat at McDonald’s once or twice a day. Really. Plus I work out the recommended 5 hours a week. I may eat an Egg McMuffin and apples. My new thing is to have either a hamburger or a double hamburger, no cheese, two bags of apple slices and an oatmeal cookie and still keeping it under 600 calories.

I think we all know what happens when you eat McDonald’s once or twice a day. Does anyone remember the movie “Supersize Me?” I think it is all well and good to make the point that McDonald’s now gives apples in their happy meals and may offer whole grain buns in the future, but insisting that it is a healthy choice for families to eat regularly is just irresponsible – especially for a dietitian.

The only popular fast food chain that passed the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s nutrition screen was Subway.  All of their children’s meals “met the center’s nutrition criteria; kid-sized subs at Subway come with apple slices; and low-fat milk or bottled water is offered in place of soda.”

(photo: Bikeworldtravel/


  1. MeLuRe

    March 31, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    There is a whole culture in this country that revolves around advertisers telling people they can eat crap and still be healthy. It is embarrassing. When will people learn that companies like McDonald’s do not have customers health on the top of their priority list. Anyone who thinks differently is delusional.

  2. heather

    March 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    less fattening isnt the same thing as more nutritious. just like if you eat your cookies by the 100 cal pack instead of by the sleeve… it will do less damage to your waistline and isnt as bad for you, but the cookies arent suddenly “healthy.”

  3. Amanda Low

    March 31, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    But, but, but, I can order several cheeseburgers and a large fry and it’s still healthy as long as I get a diet coke with it, right?!

    • Cassy C.

      April 1, 2013 at 10:47 am

      In the great Jack Black’s words, “Imma go half diet coke, half regular. Cause I’m trying to watch the calories.”

  4. Valeri Jones

    March 31, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Some people CAN eat McDonald’s twice a day and not gain any weight. My sister is one of those fortunate freaks of nature. But that’s generally not how it is for most people, and definitely isn’t something I would want to teach my kid to do. And, like another commenter mentioned, just because you’re not gaining weight doesn’t make it “healthy.”

    • heather

      April 1, 2013 at 4:06 am

      Exactly. There are people out there with high metabolisms who can eat all the junk in the world and not gain a pound. I think that an unfortunate consequence of the fight against obesity is the idea that not overweight = healthy. you can be naturally slim and eat like crap, never exercise, and still end up with high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease… obesity increases this risk, but someone who is normal or below normal weight can still develop these issues due to an unhealthy lifestyle.

      as for McDonald’s, i really do appreciate the lower calorie/fat options if i find myself there. i can get something that isn’t going to make me gain a pound in a day due to sheer calories. but to market it as healthy is untrue. aside from the apples, it is just smaller portions of items our leaving off condiments.

    • heather

      April 1, 2013 at 4:15 am in point: i work with a girl who is naturally TINY. everyone gave her crap when she started really trying to eat healthier – because she doesnt have to worry about that. umm… yes she does, yes we all do. for her it wasnt about losing weight, but just wanting a healthier lifestyle. the illusion that some people dont have to eat healthy just because they are thin is dangerous.

  5. Katia

    April 1, 2013 at 4:05 am

    Eww subway! Lots poor food safety issues. None of the above for me

  6. Courtney Lynn

    April 1, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Under 600 calories does not equal nutritional value! She’s an idiot.

  7. Justme

    April 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

    I don’t care how unhealthy they are….those french fries are delicious.

  8. Zettai

    April 1, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I don’t know who even goes to McDonalds for “healthy” options anyway. McDonalds is supposed to be a TREAT for kids (and adults), why would you go there to give them milk and sliced apples? Notice the caps on “treat”… everything in moderation, even when it’s easy to get.

  9. faifai

    April 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I am 60 pounds overweight. My blood pressure, cholesterol, & blood sugar are all fine, and I can walk up & down my apartment building’s stairs without losing my breath. As everyone else is saying, skinny does not equal healthy. Fat does not equal unhealthy.

  10. scooby23

    June 2, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    I hate when people say you can be healthy and eat fast food on a regular basis. Yes, it is true that if you watch the calories and exercise, you can still lose weight on junk food. But being healthy isn’t all about losing weight. To be healthy, you need the vitamins and minerals you can get from more healthful foods. And just because you are losing weight one these junk foods does not, in fact, mean you aren’t at risk for heart disease and high cholesterol from these foods. So anyone who says things like that woman says needs a good, thorough reality check.

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