As a nutritionist, and after spending the past 12 years helping overweight children and adults with their weight issues of course I am going to agree with NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s announcement last week in which he proposed that ‘supersized soft drinks’ be banned in the US state.
And the sooner more attention is paid to serving sizes of these drinks around the world, the better.
A 450ml (16 ounce) soft drink contains 45g or 9 teaspoons of sugar, with no other positive nutritional properties. Not only does such a high amount of sugar consumed in one sitting send insulin levels (the hormone that controls glucose and fat metabolism in the body) skyrocketing, but it is also known that human beings do not tend to compensate when we consume liquid calories, which means that we eat the same amount of food as we usually would, even if we have drunk 500 calories worth of sugary liquid.
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Say hello to Australia’s canniest marketer.
Over the past ten years, Aussies have had every reason to turn their noses up at Maccas.
We started to get more worried about our waistlines. Maccas and the fast food industry got the blame. We became more sophisticated in our taste in food. Mickey D’s isn’t the place you go for a guava and custard apple snow egg. And we’re a nation of caffeine addicts. So we weren’t lovin’ the shortage of short blacks.
But when confronted with every fear we’ve had that could’ve damaged their business, McDonald’s have made sure that our Happy Meals still make us happy.
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With apologies to the venerable Hillary Clinton, whose plea to treat women with dignity has enjoyed a clear run atop this website for six hours, we now move to a lesser but no less impassioned issue.
The Australian White Ibis, better known as “Bic Macus Scabicus” or “that stupid ugly thing stealing my sandwich! Shoo! Shoo!” is a much-maligned species.
But does it deserve our derision? Does it warrant being chased across city parks by office workers with umbrellas? Or has it earned the right for a tiny slice of the affection we automatically bestow upon kookaburras, rosellas, ducklings and the Minogue sisters? That, friends, is today’s dilemma.
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McDonalds has bent like the proverbial river weed in the current of coffee snobbery sweeping through Australia.
No longer content to swill International Roast, cheap-a-cinos or the brown-coloured water that percolates through thrice-used grounds, Australians today demand proper coffee.
Where once it was a privilege to sup a cup of creamy latte made from beans harvested from the strained foecal matter of the rare jungle-dwelling civet, now it is a human right without which we are debased.
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A cheeseburger, small fries and a triple-thick shake constitutes a McDonald’s Happy Meal in the US and clocks up 1,090 calories, although reassuringly the small plastic toy that’s included in the meal is usually inedible and thus calorie-free.
Leroy Comrie, a Councilman from Queens in New York, blames his portly size of 152kg on scoffing Happy Meals as a child and wants the city to follow in San Francisco’s footsteps by outlawing the toys, in an effort to promote healthier eating habits.
There are undoubtedly many problems with the toys included in Happy Meals - their plastic toxins can’t be great for the environment and they contribute to landfill, plus when Macca’s run out of a certain toy it can lead to a sibling war. But the toys themselves are not responsible for fat kids.
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The Soviet Union opened their first McDonalds in Moscow on this day in 1990.
Welcome to Monday at The Punch. What’s on your mind? Share it here.
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This massive billboard for McDonald’s Yass is the funniest sign on the Australian highway network. Imagine the word “kiss” in front of it and you’ll soon see what I mean.
But there’s nothing funny about the roadside dining options on Australia’s highways, which generally range from gross to inedible to botulism-inducing.
I did plenty of driving over Christmas, in a loop of SE NSW that included a south coast beach holiday and three days camping in the Snowy Mountains. Kilometres covered: about 1,200. Memorable road meals: zero.
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Hi. Sorry I’m late. Just back from the McCafe. Been hanging out there since really early this morning because, as Oprah’s American audience learned yesterday in a McDonald’s-sponsored segment, that’s what we Aussies do. All the time.
Lucky she reminded me about these “hip hangouts” really. There I was, about to buy a rack of spring lamb for dinner, and a beautiful fresh tray of Bowen mangoes for the fruit bowl, when bing! I remembered that in fact, what I actually craved, on a deeply-ingrained cultural level, was in fact that most Australian of treats, the American Choc Brownie Slice ™.
Or I don’t know, maybe some Cookies and Cream Cheesecake washed down with a caramel latte frappe, a beverage which demonstrates beyond question our love of a classic, untainted, good quality cup of real coffee.
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People are doing it under the Golden Arches, underwater, in the nude and in Nazi uniforms.
They get hitched in all manner of ways and the water-cooler conversations this week have been dominated by nuptials of all sorts.
There’s the couple renewing their vows at McDonalds. Would you like a Happily Ever After meal with that?
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Maybe I got the wrong end of the stick, but from my limited knowledge of parenting (based solely on the experiences of friends and acquaintances), I thought it was parents who bribed their children with McDonalds. But apparently that’s just not the case.
At least, not in America, where according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington D.C based consumer advocacy group, kids are forcing their parents to take them to McDonalds and being “lured” into “childhood obesity” by their “unfair” and “deceptive” marketing strategies. And they’ve threatened to sue the restaurant chain if they fail to stop including toys in their Happy Meals within the next 30 days.
“McDonald’s marketing has the effect of conscripting America’s children into an unpaid drone army of word-of-mouth marketers, causing them to nag their parents to bring them to McDonald’s,” group director Stephen Gardner told Telegraph.co.uk.
“[They’re like] the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children. It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”
But what about those of you raising kids in Australia, when it comes to feeding them McDonalds. Is the Happy Meal really a symbol of evil, or just a quick and easy alternative to cooking after a busy day?
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It’s finally happened. I never thought I would encounter a form of junk food which repulsed me. But on a holiday to the US last month I was confronted by a foodstuff so disgusting, so evil both in design and execution, so incredibly, inedibly putrid that my entire value system has been shocked to its core.
Despite generally having a healthy diet, and spending hours flitting about the kitchen knocking up all sorts of effeminate dishes, such as a deeply suss saffron risotto with home-made chicken stock, or pesto with basil gathered from the garden in a poncy basket, I’ve long held a perverse enthusiasm for eating crap.
The crapper the better. Dodgy kebabs, late-night chiko rolls, shallow-fried at home out of the box hidden in the back of the freezer, even those mysterious Hot Pizza Heroes from the local servo, turbo-charged before microwaving with the addition of extra cheese and half a handful of jalapeños.
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