“I was lovin’ it”: battling over fast food

McDonald’s is a favorite target for those opposed to fast-food culture and typical American eating patterns. Amidst discussions in many municipalities about allowing fast-food restaurants, a new advertisement to run in Washington, D.C. adds to the debate:

In the commercial, produced by the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a woman weeps over a dead man lying in a morgue. In his hand is a hamburger. At the end, the golden arches appear over his feet, followed by the words, “I was lovin’ it,” a play on McDonald’s longtime ad slogan, “I’m lovin’ it.” A voiceover says, “High cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian.”

Americans tend to eat a lot of fast food: Gallup found in 2006 that 23% of Americans eat fast food several times a week or more with another 33% claiming to eat fast food about once a week.

Another option being discussed would allow for extra taxes on fast food and soft drinks. In another survey, Harris found “Over half of Americans (56%) are opposed to [an obesity] tax going into effect with two in five (42%) being strongly opposed. Three in ten (31%) support this tax being imposed.” There were some differences: people living in the South and Midwest or with lower incomes or with less education were more opposed to such measures.