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The McDonald's frappé: Warn your patients of this latest example of food-industry terrorismMay 10, 2010 22:57 EDT
Two sharp-eyed street vendors foiled the New York City Times Square bombing attempt on May 3, 2010. Their quick thinking saved scores of lives and tons of monetary resources. Similarly, we as physicians are obligated to perform our due diligence to protect our patients from certain harm by keeping a sharp eye out for entities that can negatively affect their metabolism. Thus, I'm sending up a flare for the latest in food-industry–directed assaults that will continue to fuel obesity and diabetes among our population.
I love blended icy drinks. I love them from the very first sip to the very last. Nothing thrills me more than when I think my drink is finished to move my straw just a bit to the left or right and find yet another "well" of sweet chilly smoothness. So when McDonald's announced its new frappé, I was ecstatic. I live in a blender-challenged area with the nearest Starbucks around 40 miles away. As I contemplated my very first frappé drive-by, I checked to make certain that McDonald's had acted responsibly by making this a nutritionally safe item. After all, at my local smoothie shop and at Starbucks, I have low-carb options and an opportunity for a soy-milk base and even decaf. I Googled nutritional value for the McDonald's frappé and immediately my enthusiasm melted:
Size: 12 oz. Flavor: Mocha. Calories: 450. Fat: 20 g. Sat fat: 13 g. Trans fat: 1 g. Carbs: 62 g.
After obtaining this information, I am obligated to warn my patients of yet another food-industry gaffe. They have once again missed a grand opportunity to provide a healthy dessert treat to our population and instead have planted yet another destructive "bomb" on their daily menu. Do any of these food-industry CEOs have a conscience?
I guess my greatest irritation is that Jan Fields, president of McDonalds USA, controls the nutritional content of 47 million consumers daily and makes little effort to do it safely. That's a lot of responsibility and a lost opportunity. Fields was on the Forbes 2008 and 2009 list among the world's 100 most powerful women and Fortune's 50 most powerful women in business in 2007, 2008, and 2009. It hurts me that such a successful female with the potential for good nurturing could be responsible for so much damage to our overall well-being. You would think with all the heat she's taken from nutritionists because of her fattening of our world population from her staple French fries and Big Macs that she would have seized an opportunity to be the "good guy"--er, "good gal"--for once. So, McDonald's corporation, specifically Ms Fields, I'd like to challenge you to do the right thing this time. I know you are capable because you added apples and salads to your menus and anyone who does that can't be all bad. So, here goes:
Could you please offer a nutritionally sound frappé? Something with a soy base and low carb, no saturated fat, with the total fat reduced to around 5 g, say, or even less, and the carbs to virtually nothing? Could you please use a "natural" sweetener like Truvia and offer something that doesn't make me check my life-insurance policy every time I drive through or warn my patients to premedicate with nitro like they should before they have a Big Mac? Jan Fields, as a woman who is obviously intelligent in business matters, can you please bone up on nutritional information or perhaps hire someone to help you to not continue to kill our population with high-fat/high-carb entities? That move would be almost as refreshing as a good low-fat/low-carb frappé itself. It's really not that difficult. Perhaps you should start with low-fat frozen yogurt as your base or even use skim milk with a bunch of ice. The possibilities are endless. It's not that difficult, and I'm not even a cook.
This issue might seem trivial to many folks, and perhaps some of you wonder why I'd pick this topic for a blog . . . but in the name of thousands of future 175-lb 10-year-olds, for the love of frappé someone needs to listen; and McDonald's, if you don't, perhaps you really should rename your new blended sweet McDonald's entity "Ms Fields's Crappé" instead. Although the effects will not be immediate, with access to 47 million potential victims daily . . . no detonator necessary.