July 21, 2007

McDonald's wants to make you HUGO fat

McDonald's was starting to offer more appropriately portioned food lately. But that ended today.

The Hugo, a 42-ounce drink is now being offered for as little as 89 cents. One cup of the Hugo Coke has more than 400 calories. Some are calling it the Tubbo.

Of course, the Hugo ads are in both English and Spanish, making sure that Latin minorities have an equal opportunity to be obese.

Today's NY Times comments:

When McDonald’s opened in 1955 the largest soda was 7 fluid ounces, according to Ms. Nestle and Ms. Young. Now a small soda is 16 ounces, and a child’s soda is 12 ounces. And what was once considered a normal adult meal is now a child’s portion. A patty the same size as the original McDonald’s hamburger and a serving of French fries, for instance, is now offered to children as part of the Happy Meal, Ms. Young said.

The problem with bigger portions has been well documented. They are undoubtedly good deals. But put simply, if people are offered more food, they eat it.

I don't remember going to McDonald's in the 60s and saying to myself, this place would be pretty good, if the sodas were 6 times bigger. Or that the hamburgers needed to be have twice the fat, or the fries needed to be 4 times larger.

Why did those "appropriately sized" meals in the 60s satisfy us, but now they don't?

Of could it be the 60s-sized profits don't satisfy Wall Street and McDonald's executives (whose bonuses are all tied to making Americans as fat as possible).

And I just can't believe they call it Hugo. Wasn't that a hurricane?

Hurricane Hugo was a destructive Category 5 hurricane that struck Puerto Rico, St. Croix, South Carolina and North Carolina in September of the 1989 Atlantic hurricane season, killing 82 people. It also left 56,000 homeless. The storm caused $10 billion (1989 USD, $16.3 billion (2006 USD) in damages, making it at the time the most damaging hurricane ever recorded, surpassing Hurricane Frederic.

Doesn't sound like something I'd want my summer drink associated with.


Bianca Reagan said...

Hurricane Hugo also struck St. Thomas. I was there, and I was seven. :(

Anonymous said...

Hey -
Love your blog! Have you read:
The Omnivores Dilemma? GREAT STUFF and it eally speaks to the reasons behind all the double and triple sizing of meals (esp fast food ones!)