6/29/2004

Happy Meals Kill

I was reading an article about the McDonald’s vs. Over Weight Patrons and realized that there were a few Economics points made in this whole idea.
First, by reading this, I’m sure you’ll see where my opinion is. I love to spout off my opinion until proven wrong which often is the case and sorry if offend anyone.

For those who haven’t heard, a number of people in the last few years have gone way out of their way to file lawsuits against the McDonald’s food chain claiming that the fast food chain made them fat. (I wonder if the time in the Attorney’s office and in court cut time out of their gym schedule?) In the article “ Another McDonalds Lawsuit - Fat or Fast Food? ” ,one of these McDonald’s vs. Obesity lawsuits was filed in the New York Supreme Court. 3 teenagers are claiming that selling toys with a happy meal is a lethal combination. I guess the Happy Meal’s not such a “Happy” Meal after all?! The teenage trio also claims that the nutritional value of McDonalds food is “inaccurately…and deceptively advertised”. McD’s has never claimed that their Big Mac and Quarter Pounder are good for you. The trio’s lawsuit follows that of Caesar Barber’s suit which was directed not only at McD’s but Burger King, KFC Corp., and Wendy’s International. He blames “the chains for making him and others overweight and raising his risk of illness related to being overweight.” Just a side not to Caesar’s case, he ate the fast food constantly for a reported 52 years. No wonder he’s obese.

The economics portion of this piece is a two part deal. The first has to do with the personal gain these plaintiffs are seeking in their suits. The “Chubby Trio” seeks money for damages. The three were helped out by their parents who according to the “Another McDonalds Lawsuit - Fat or Fast Food?” article, are either unemployed or on disability. Do they really think that money acquired from a suit is going to fix their obesity? If for some insane reason the three were to win the case, do you actually think they’ll get a gym pass, learn to eat better, and benefit from the settlement? Or do you think there’s a slim possibility of them taking that nice chunk of money and using it on their eating out habit for the next 20 years. My vote is for the later. These people are seeking monetary gain for absolutely no work! It’s complete laziness. Nobody was forcing these people to eat McDonald’s!

The second part is the fact that McDonald’s advertising must be doing something right. The trio ate themselves to obesity at McDonald's. Well, sounds like McDonald’s is doing a good job advertising! I’m willing to bet that it’s McDonald’s job to attract customers to their establishment so that they can in turn make a profit. Am I on the right track or way off in right field?! Nowhere on the chains’ advertisements does it say that you must eat McD’s until you’re fat. So, as for the ability for McDonald’s to grab their share of the market and capitalize on unique ideas, they’re right on.
As for the obese people seeking money for damages, GET A JOB! Earn your dough the good ol' fashion way! As for McD's, Way to play that supply and demand curve Ronald!

1 comment:

Kid said...

I love this post. It also relates to the Supper Size me blog (that no one can post a comment on) done on a guy named Morgan Sprulocks. He ate McDonald’s everyday for 30 days for all three meals.

First off I want to know who is crazy enough to think that eating McDonalds for 30 days straight and feeding kids happy meals all the time is a balanced meal. I know I have never heard a claim put out by McDonald’s or any other fast food joint, for that instance, that ever claimed that their product should be the diet of choice for people across the nation. For someone to think eating junk food all the time is going to help maintain their slim figure must be nuts. These individuals must have not weighed their opportunity cost very carefully. All those Happy Meals must have been worth it because they had forgone the next best thing which may have been eating a salad with fat free dressing.

As the author pointed out McDonalds must be doing something right with advertising and getting people to keep their demand up. Remember over 1 million severed is posted on almost every sign that shows those big golden arches. It could be possible that the “Chubby Trio” could account for more then just 3 of those 1 million.