Goody also repeats some all-too-familiar food industry talking points, such as the blatantly untrue idea that “if you eat too much of any one thing, it’s not going to be healthy.” While eating too much–and sometimes not even that much–of certain foods is certainly problematic (think French fries, Big Macs, and McFlurrys), the same can not be said of all foods. Can Goody point to how eating “too many” peppers, blueberries, or sweet potatoes is not healthy?
That statement is immediately followed by the classic food industry move: “blame the public.” Goody states that while other countries have transitioned to a whole grain Big Mac bun (I assume she refers to the eight-grams-of-whole-grains version), “U.S. customers are not asking for their Big Mac to be on a whole grain bun.”
If food offerings are determined by public demand, can McDonald’s point to anyone requesting a breakfast item with over 25 ingredients, including trans fats, sodium benzoate, and polysorbate 60 (that would be the cinnamon melts, packed with as much sugar as 10 Oreo cookies)?
When specifically asked about obesity, Goody mentions decreasing calories, saturated fat, and added sugars across the national menu (she also oddly mentions sodium, which is completely unrelated to obesity). She then states that “there are a lot of factors that affect obesity. It’s not where you eat, but what and how much you eat.”
Ah, but what other pressing factors, like the food environment? Or marketing to children (McDonald’s spent $115 million in 2010 just to advertise Happy Meals)? No mention of that, but a plug for the company’s “commitment” to featuring a “nutrition or balanced-active lifestyle message” in all advertising to children.
In what is the most offensive and socially irresponsible part of the interview, Goody says that after gaining 30 pounds during a pregnancy two years ago, she lost it all–despite a slow metabolism–by eating McDonald’s “once or twice a day.” Whatever happened to the “balance” Ms. Goody championed earlier?
I am a registered dietitian and a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. I am truly embarrassed about the academy's relationship with sponsors such as McDonalds and Coke. While the academy spends their days promoting and taking money from Big Food sponsors, I spend my days educating patients about the ingredients in these products and tell them the truth about the negative health effects of eating these chemicals that are dressed up to look like food. I feel the academy makes dietitians look bad.