I haven’t been following the Olympics. Not out of any lack of love for winter sports; I think they’re gorgeous, but I don’t have a TV and have been pretty busy writing a thesis and keeping up with grad school.
So I was surprised today when my cousin mentioned over lunch that McDonalds was a sponsor. We were both pretty taken with the irony. Eating fast food isn’t going to give anyone the kind of physical health they’ll need to be an Olympic athlete, and would impair such a goal.
Is this just another way we’re duping kids? McDonalds has a bunch of special logos for the Olympics; here’s their kid-targeted one:
We’ve gotten to a point where tobacco companies can be sued for marketing to kids, but McDonalds can imply their food will help kids grow up to be Olympic athletes. Where cheap fast food comes with cheap toys, and where fast food is one of few affordable options for people with minimal income, who then lack health insurance to deal with its consequences.
This problem feels too institutionalized and large. I derive some hope from the history of changes in tobacco legislation, but only so much. The regulations on fast food often focus on the wrong things (e.g. salt and saturated fat rather than sugar and polyunsaturated omega-6 atty acids). Also, despite tobacco regulations, kids still start smoking every year, and tobacco companies still use insidious marketing, especially outside the U.S.
Any thoughts on this? Is it harmless? Insidious? Is the irony transparent and, if so, to whom? And how are the curling competitions going? Enjoy watching for me too.
(PS: Whoa, just found this picture. Isn’t that kind of incredibly creepy?)