Supersizing—though the official term, created by McDonald’s in the 1990s, has disappeared from fast food places, the concept never really left. Consumers will still purchase, and generally eat more food if they feel like they are getting a better deal.
“We know the health implications of a giant latte or supersized fries, so a little justification through feeling financially savvy and saving money makes us feel better about our decision and increases consumption,” said Kelly L. Haws, a marketing researcher Vanderbilt at Vanderbilt University.
Haws is part of a research team that recently found consumers aren’t just looking for deals on unhealthy fast food meals. In fact, Haws and co-author Karen Winterich found that the supersizing effect works just as well on healthier food choices.
Inspired by Morgan Spurlock’s documentary, Super Size Me, science teacher John Cisna from Iowa decided to help take his students’ education out of the classroom. He engaged in a three month experiment much like Spurlock’s, eating McDonald’s every day, but instead of indulging and not exercising, he followed a more structured program which he discussed on TODAY.
Cisna’s students put the menus together which included nearly everything on the McDonald’s menu from salads to Big Macs to sundaes.
His students tracked his caloric intake and 15 different nutrients Read Full Post >
Update 12/26: McDonald’s has announced it is taking down it’s employee resource site for good. Lisa McComb, spokeswoman for McDonald’s released this statement, “We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald’s employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we’ve directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwanted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald’s team members. We’ll continue to provide service to them through an internal telephone help line, which is how the majority of employees access the McResource services.”
A surprising new source is offering healthy eating advice: McDonald’s. The company recently launched a website with easy-to-follow, sensible dietary advice for its busy employee. But the suggestions made on the site may surprise you: In an effort to promote healthy eating McDonald’s actually casts many of its own foods in a less than positive light. As you can see here, in this image pulled directly from the employee site, the fast food retailer has chosen some of its own food to represent an unhealthy meal:
That’s right: McDonald’s, home of a 750 calorie cheeseburger, is offering its employees sage eating advice, recommending their employees, “eat at places that offer a variety of salads, soups and vegetables to help maintain your best health.” (In other words, not at McDonald’s.)While the fast food giant does offer salads many are loaded with fat and calories, including one that maxes out at 450 calories. These meals are healthier than a Big Mac, but not by much.
On Tuesday, Burger King debuted their new “Satisfries,” which have 40 percent less fat and 30 percent fewer calories than their traditional french fries.
It took Burger King 10 years to engineer a special batter that would absorb less oil while still maintaining a crispy exterior. Operative word – engineered. Cheryl Forberg, RD, the nutrition expert for Biggest Loser, told us, “The new fry appears to be more processed, more of a potato product with some type of batter that absorbs less oil.”
A regular sized order of the crinkle cut “Satisfries” contains 340 calories, 14g of fat, and 370mg of sodium, so these fries are healthyishnot healthy. A medium order of their standard fries has 403 calories, 17g of fat, and 572mg of sodium.
“One out of every two Burger King guests orders our classic French fries and we know our guests are hungry for options that are better for them,” said Burger King president Alex Macedo.
While these fries may be healthier than their fast food counterparts, taste tests have proved people prefer the greasy, hi-fat old standbys. However, BK must be doing something right, their stock rose 0.2 percent yesterday.
McDonald’s recently announced it’s toying with the idea of revamping their Dollar Menu to include other price points up to and including five dollars. If the new menu is adopted, the Extra Value Menu would then be eliminated. Now, even their cheap food just got more expensive. This menu switcheroo begs the question, “Why are people still eating fat food – err, fast food, when they could eat healthy for the same price?”
The new offering retitled, “Dollar Menu & More” is currently being tested in five U.S. markets. New prices on the list would include $1, $2 and $5 items. The specific foods slated to be featured on the experimental value menu have not been released but Neil Golden, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s, hinted that more chicken would be included, as well as burgers with extra patties, and the addition of other toppings including bacon. You mean if I want more food, I have to pay more money? Ronald McDonald, you sly devil, you.