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Fast Food 101

By Erin in Food on Aug 25, 2005 7:05AM

We hope you'll forgive us but just this once we're going to cut to the chase and present what we think is the most important element to this entire story: The dumbest, most asinine, most trite thing ever to drip from the lips of any corporate drone and show up in print:

In response to criticism that the food they market to children is unhealthy and therefore a contributing factor to childhood obesity, McDonald's, according to the Trib, said this: "A McDonald's spokesman said the chain offers a "world of choice and variety" as well as comprehensive nutrition information to its customers."

2005_08_kidsfastfood.jpgYou show us a kid who is going to choose a freshly tossed garden salad over a pile of steaming hot McDonald's French fries and Chicagoist will introduce you to a kid who gets his ass beaten stupid by the junior varsity pom pom squad on a daily basis.

Now that that is out of the way, here's the deal: yet another study has been published to remind us all that our children are in danger, only this time it's from fatty, fatty foods. The researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and the Harvard School of Public Health tell us that about 80% of public and private schools in Chicago have at least one fast-food joint within a half-mile, which translates into easy access to burgers, fries and ice cream for the kids.

Why is this a big deal?

Parents and government officials have been furiously spending oodles and oodles of time and money in an effort to get kids off of sugar, processed foods and all of the glorious junk food that kids would rather shove in their gaping maws than, say, apples. With these stats in mind, these folks say that such close proximity to Whoppers and Chicken McNuggets will undermine all of their efforts.

Chicagoist is sorry but all of these people need to suck it.

We're not going to sit and listen to a bunch of hooey about kids having access to junk food. Kids have ALWAYS had access to junk food. Chicagoist used to sneak off to IHOP with her best friend before 1st period for a warm blueberry muffin slathered in butter and after school hit Burger King for a chicken sandwich ... on a regular basis.

This is not news.

But somehow we think that if we can just shield our kids from everything and anything, they'll be OK. That we'll solve the problem. The only thing this study, and subsequently the Trib story, is telling us is that kids don't care about the healthy choices you give them and they'll find their fix elsewhere.

We think that instead of all of this obsessive nonsense over soda and fries the powers-that-be would be better served to channel some of that energy into getting kids outside and off of their lazy butts. They need to move. Chicagoist's parents used to kick her and her sisters out of the house until dark and it didn't matter how cold it was outside. Please do not tell us that it's more dangerous now that it was 15 years ago for kids to be outside. Clearly it's more dangerous for them to be inside than out or we wouldn't be so concerned about the video games they're playing, right?

Image BBC News