McDonald’sCorporation: Obesity Crisis
Obesityis a medical disorder whereby excess fat has accumulated in the bodyto an extent it may affect the health of an individual negatively. Itmay also lead to reduced lifeexpectancy due to increased health problems. In U.S and Michigan, people areseen as obese when their bodymass index(BMI) (a measurement derived by dividing the weight of a person bythe square of the height) is more than 30 kg/m2.People with BMI ranging from 25 to 30 kg/m2are considered as overweight.Fast food industries are to blame for the increased cases of obesityin the whole world[CITATION Fle10 p 235 l 1033 ].This is because of the increased number of fast foods in America andin other countries,making it easy and cheaper for people to get cheeseburgers, sodas andsupersize items, which add many fats to the body.
Inrecent years, medical experts and policymakers have reported agrowing problem of obesity, especially in children in Michigan andthe United States. All of them agree that the issue of obesitydeserves attention because it is a health risk. Michigan has the 10thhighest prevalence porevalance of obesity in America. Currentstatistics show that 35% of adults in Michigan were overweight andand three out of ten of the aduts are obese.Michigan spends billionson obesity related health care costs. This paper will focusMcDonald`sCorporation, which is one of the largest fast food restaurants. Thecompany sellscheeseburgers,hamburgers,Frenchfries,softdrinks,chicken,milkshakes,breakfastitems, and desserts.Since 1980, the company has been accused of using beef tallow inmaking their French fries, which increases fats in the body thuscausing health problems to people.Big Mac one of its foods has 540calories and 29 g of fat. This proves that the foods of thecompanyare highly processed, full of calories, sodium, and fat. One caneasily take in up to 1,500 calories from just a meal alone.
Themotive of the company is to make profits and it achieves this byfalsely representing its food as nutritious while marketing andadvertising its products but its food are neither honestly presentednor what consumers would primarily expect. For example, the companyreported that its fries have zero cholesterol and failed to reportthat oils are used to cook the fries, which has fatty acids as one ofits components. The fatty acids have been proved to increasecholesterol levels in the body, thus obesity. Its numerousadvertisements have appealed to many people to buy its products,which have increased cases of obesity among people in America and inother countries. Despite many lawsuits against the company, it hasnot made any changes in how they make their fries because itsobjective is to make profits and be more competitive in the market.Obesity puts people, especially children at arisk for a number ofhealth complications such as Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnea, orthopedicproblems, and hypertension[CITATION Fle12 p 491 l 1033 ].
Accordingto Wang Fangnian, pp.71 Obesity in human beings is caused bydecreased energy expenditure or increased energy storage. The newlyexplained bromodomain protein known as Brd2 performs non-redundant,profound, and diverse functions in the specialized cells’ life.Knockout of the related gene Brd4is haploinsufficiency, and lethal, which poses problems for organdevelopment and cell cycle. This also complexes responses to signaltransduction in order to manage protein–protein interactions amonghistone-modification enzymes, the chromatin remodeling machinery andTAFs at various promoters in differentiated cells of human beings and during development thus establishing transcriptionally or repressiveactive chromatin. This will then lower blood glucose, which will thenbe cleared in the blood and stored as fats. Due to increased storageof fats will lead to obesity.
Single-minded1 (SIM1)mutations are believed to be one of the causes of a type of obesityknown as nonsyndromic monogenic obesity in humans[CITATION Ram13 p 3042 l 1033 ].Sim1has a close associated with oxytocin neurons, which could causedefects in development in human beings. Sim1neurons in the PVN, which express Mc4rreduces food intake and inhibit energy. This reduction in energyintake will convert glucose in the body into fats and an excess ofthese fats will lead to obesity[CITATION Tol10 p 3808 l 1033 ].
Leptin,which is a protein product of adipocytes, helps human beings andother animals in regulation of immune function, body weight,fertility, and pubertal development. Leptin deficiency produceshitherto unknown homozygous transition within the exon 3 of the LEPgene, which results in a L72S replacement in the Leptin protein. Themutant Leptin is expressed in the adipose tissue of a person, but itis retained within the cell. This Leptin deficiency leads to severeobesity among children[CITATION Fis10 p 2836 l 1033 ].
Healthprofessionals claim that eating habits and lifestyle determines thetype of foods that we eat[CITATION Low10 p 150 l 1033 ].Accordingto them, low-income people do not eat much because they do not haveenough finances to buy a lot of food unlike high income earners whobuys a lot of food for the family, which makes them fat leading toobesity.Family belief is another factor that leads to obesity. Forexample, when the father is fat, the entire family will believe thatthe whole side of the family is like that and the children will befed with a lot of food in order to be like their father[CITATION Gon12 p S46 l 1033 ].
Nutritiontransition is one of the causes of obesity. Economic improvementexperienced in many countries over the last 50 years has resulted ingreater influence on the diets of individuals[CITATION Pop12 p 3 l 1033 ].Most dietsare low in dietary fiber and polyunsaturated fatty acids, thus higherin fats such as cholesterol, saturated fat, and refined carbohydratesand. This change in nutrition has also been associated with increasedlevels of stress and a sedentary lifestyle. Obesity is alwaysassociated with high-income countries and some middle-incomecountries. This is because the per capita fat and energy intake inthose countries is high[CITATION Mus11 p 5 l 1033 ].
Physicalinactivity has increased among children and adults in many countriesdue to lack of physical activity guidelines[CITATION Cec10 p 1775 l 1033 ].Numerousresearcheshave shown that there are less physical activities amonggirls than boys.Inactivity prevalence has also been shown to increaseas one becomes old, and when he or she increases education level.Fewer activities will make one grow fat, which can lead toobesity[CITATION Faz10 p 573 l 1033 ].Snackeating frequencyalso leads to obesity in that increased frequency of snack eatingincreases the total energy in the body thus can lead to obesity[CITATION Sch p 157 l 1033 ].
TheWorld health organization in 2003, commissioned to work in order toanalyze attitudes towards government intervention in matters ofhealth especially obesity[CITATION Raz11 p 183 l 1033 ].Most ofthe respondents interviewed believed every person was responsible forhis or her own health even ifthere were support for policyinterventions that aimed at improving nutrition and diet. Most of therespondents thought that taxation was the most effective means todeal with health problems. Studies conducted most recently providethat most of the US citizens believe that the issue of obesity is asa result of the failure of individuals and genetic or environmentalcauses should not be blamed for this[CITATION Ren10 p 2125 l 1033 ].
Thepublic believes that there should be support for policies aimed atreducing obesity among children and adults. US government has triedto address the issue of overweight and obesity at the community levelby use of campaigns in order to encourage individuals to maintainhealthier diets and increase their physical activities[CITATION Cha11 p 430 l 1033 ].Thegovernment and non-governmental organizations have also createdpublic awareness by educating people about the dangers of obesity.The activities of the government and no-governmental organizationshave not worked because there are still increased cases of obesity inAmerica and Michigan[CITATION Wat11 p 3 l 1033 ].
TheActions McDonaldsCorporation hastaken to solve the obesity problem
Inthe last six years, fast-food chains such as McDonald’sCorporation arerealizing the need to take social responsibility. This was madepossible by NGO’s / civil society as they inserted social pressureon these fast foods through lawsuits. McDonaldsCorporationhas realized that it has to offer balanced diet foods with less fatin order to achieve a balanced active lifestyle among individuals.Thecompany has changed its advertising information to emphasize itssocial responsibility[CITATION Sch10 p 587 l 1033 ].Thecompany has also taken responsibility to help individuals who sufferfrom obesity or those who are vulnerable to the problem.
Effectivenessof McDonald’sCorporation actionsin curbing the obesity problem
Themain goal of the business after its change is to make money andpromote a healthy lifestyle. In 2006, the fast food developed aworldwide responsibility report, which proved that itwould engage inpromoting good health in the society. The business shifted its focuson people, place, promotion and price and it emphasized on balancedlifestyle. Recent statistics have shown that the McDonald’sCorporation is an active provider of information that will helppeople maintain a healthy lifestyle. The company’s extensive socialresponsibility involves focusing its attention on the health ofconsumers[CITATION Ten11 p 669 l 1033 ].The actions of the company to address this issue are not so effectivebecause there are still cases of people buying junk foods in Michiganand in United States as a whole. This is because it is hard toachieve and maintain a wide scale positive dietary change.
Comprehensiveplanfor McDonald’s Corporation
McDonald’sCorporation should change its business model. The focus of thecompany should not only be on the experience of the customers, but itshould also focus on the health of its customers. This could beachieved by offering foods that are prepared healthier or have lesscalories. The company should also invest its resources in researchand development in order to obtain technologies that will help thecompany produce tasty, cheap, and healthy food for its customers thusmaintaining its reputation[CITATION Sch101 p 424 l 1033 ].
Inaddition, the company should take part in educating its customers andthe public as a whole on the dangers of obesity. It should providethe public with information on how they can maintain a healthylifestyle. The company should know its target audience when passingon information. This is because different individuals are influencedby a message in different ways. They should also take part in helpingthose affected by this condition by helping them to seek medication.All these will improve the image of the company and will changecustomers’ perceptions towards the company thus increasing itssales and profits.
Changingof the model by a company will help the company to shift its focus onthe health of customers rather than focusing all its attention on theexperiences of customers. This will promote a healthy lifestyle amongindividuals and reduce cases of obesity in both adults and children.New technologies of the company will reduce the cost of production,healthy food production, and will increase effectiveness inproduction. Creating awareness for the public about obesity and howto manage it, helps the public to understand the condition andmaintain a healthy lifestyle. This will improve the reputation of thecompany thus increasing its market share, as many consumers willprefer buying from the company.
Theseactivities of the company of promoting healthy lifestyle increase theoperation costs of the company, which can lead to losses. The risksthe company takes can lead to failure of the company because it mayhave to drop useful products which may reduce the sales of thecompany thus failure. The costs of research and development are highfor the company and it will increase its expenses thus reducing itsprofits in the short-run,but in the long run it will produceincreased profits for the company.
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