Friday, February 26, 2010


The voiceover on the McDonald's commercial that has been running for the last two weeks says: “So now you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to eat like one.”


Chicken McNuggets?

(Full disclosure: I love their french fries. On the rare occasion I eat fast-food french fries, it’s a sure bet they’re from McDonald’s).

No disrespect to McDonald’s , but are we really supposed to believe these elite athletes really include McDonald’s in their diet, especially at the Olympics? Granted, many of the athletes are guys barely out of their teenage years and with unstoppable metabolisms, but still. To me, it’s the calories and fat content that make a McDonald’s meal Olympian.

Maybe they just eat the salads.

No – in one commercial I’ve seen over and over again, McDonald’s claims their Chicken McNuggets are the most popular menu items. Is it possible to have wickedly low body fat, chiseled muscles and a powerful heart and still indulge in these high-calorie, mega-fat delicacies?

A six-piece serving of Chicken McNuggets is 276 calories (I was surprised, too) and has 17 grams of fat, a heart-stopping 42 milligrams of cholesterol and 600 milligrams of sodium, which is one-fourth of the RDA.

I can understand needing calorie-dense foods because of all the energy athletes burn off, but surely there are better choices? Food, which is their fuel, that will give them optimum energy, not weigh them down & clog their arteries?

McDonald’s Olympic connection dates back to 1968 when they airlifted hamburgers to the athletes in Grenoble, France, because they reported being homesick for McDonald’s food.

Lest my readers think this is a McDonald’s-bashing post, let me say I have a lot of admiration for how they give back to the Olympic host countries. For Vancouver, they have teamed up with several charities, including the Rick Hansen Foundation, to fund three Legacy playgrounds. These playgrounds are tailored for children with disabilities so they can play alongside their peers and families. What a great thing to do – I personally know how a disabled person can feel alienated from others.

Google and didn’t give me any solid answers when I tried to find out what’s standard for athletes like sculpted Lindsey Vonn, rebel Bode Miller, lightning-fast Apolo Anton Ohno (an amazing 2.5% body fat) or tiny Kim Yu-Na. Of these three athletes, I somehow have the feeling only Miller would indulge in a McDonald’s meal or two.

I did find out, via, that there is a 400-page International Olympic Committee manual that outlines the cultural and dietary requirements for athletes from the 85 nations represented at the Olympics. Imagine the variety: pad Thai with cod, shrimp sumai (whatever that is!), custom seafood, pork, chicken and beef dishes made at action stations. Who needs a Big Mac when you can have that?


Stephanie said...

There is another dimension where those who are the fittest, can survive and thrive on cinnamelts and McPressed chicken. In that same dimension, women like Elle McPhereson and Cindy Crawford use Loreal make up and color their hair with Nice-n-Easy...Ha!

Lisa said...

I want to be part of that dimension!!