McDonald's Olympics Sponsorship 2012: The World's Fattest Athletes

July 16, 2012 5:33 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
McDonald's at the Olympics in 2012? (Photo: Creative Commons)

So it's come to this. Ladies, gentleman, and anyone who identifies as anything else, prepare to be outraged.

As you may very well know, we're just two weeks away from the commencement of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Accordingly, we'll be gathering as a species to celebrate something that transcends nationalism: the pinnacle of human fitness.

And when you think pinnacle of human fitness, you think of your good friends at McDonald's. Or at least, that's what they'll be spending money to have you think this year.

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That's right, everyone: McDonald's is a proud sponsor of the 2012 Summer Olympics. Don't worry if your heart stopped upon reading that-- that's normal. Do worry if your heart stopped and you had a Big Mac at some point during the day. Alerting your physician may not be such a bad idea.

If the 2012 events are going potentially to be used as a soapbox by the likes of Jamie Oliver and other health-conscious food celebrities to inspire the next generation of citizens of the world to make healthy choices with their food, can we consider that message compromised by its having to share the spotlight with McDonald's?

This is a major fast food chain that revels in and profits from the peddling of high caloric, high fat, low quality products to its demographic of lower-middle to working class eaters. In fact, a quick search for how to healthily navigate the McDonald's menu leads to the following sage advice: eating less McDonald's is a good way to eat more healthily at McDonald's.

But there is, of course, another side of this. Generally speaking, when an advertiser joins a platform like the Olympics, it typically means that they have a story which they want you to hear. Could this portend a surprise revamp of their salad menu? Or a potential launch of a more healthy line of burgers that focus on high quality vegetables?

It'll probably take worthy competition for that, in much the same way that Taco Bell stepped up its game after Chipotle proved that you could do well with a healthy, superior product, even if the price was more expensive. But whatever the case, we'll be watching closely over these next two weeks.

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