Healthy Food Options For Fast Food Essay

Healthy Food Options For Fast Food Essay

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This article’s main claim is that providing healthy food options in fast food menus allows individuals to perceive the food on the menu overall as healthy; and therefore enhances the likelihood that they will over consume unhealthy food options as well. Downs supports her argument by first providing context and introduces the question why “labels in restaurants do not change behavior”? (429). She finds that “restaurants who have provided nutritional labeling did not change consumer behavior nor did consumers take the opportunity to read them as well” (429). She notes that this critical because fast food has been referred to as one of the reasons behind the rise of obesity in the United States. In addition, she states that her findings about nutrition information contradict the popular assumption that providing healthy food options changes fast food consumption. She then claims that fast food should not be considered healthy based on the number of healthy options provided but rather on which food options the consumers regularly purchase. To support this claim she provides an example of Subway’s marketing strategy using Jared Fogle which rebranded the restaurant as a place for healthy food. She then compares the consumer purchases between Subway and McDonalds and claims that despite Subway’s brand image as “healthy,” the caloric content of their sandwiches is not significantly lower compared to the food at McDonalds. Therefore, while consumers have low calorie options, most of the food at Subway contain a significantly higher caloric content than the options highlighted in the marketing strategy. She concludes her argument by arguing that all of this evidence shows that there is no relationship between menu options and healt...


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... will use this source to expand the findings in "Nutritional Quality at Eight U.S. Fast-Food Chains 14-Year Trends” which argues that despite the addition of “healthy” options at fast food restaurants, the overall nutritional quality of the menu remained poor. An analysis of these two sources will be used to help answer my research questions: what consists of healthy food in the McDonalds “Questions” campaign and what are the implications of this definition of healthy food? I will use these sources to support the significance of my claim. Specifically, I will use Downs as evidence for my claim that despite marketing campaigns aimed at redefining McDonald’s as a healthy option, the definition of healthy food that these commercials promote is too limited and ultimately attempts to conform to new definitions of healthy food without actually changing their products.

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