Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Goody's no gum drop

Here, completely free of charge, is my suggestion for how McDonald’s should advertise the under-sung health move that it made today: As a camera pulls back, viewers see shadows starkly playing against a wall. It’s clear what the two people out of range are doing to make the images dance across the backdrop, even if they can’t be seen. Elbows are swung, holds are attempted and broken, a body is lifted and slammed to the ground. Grunts and outcries of pain are interrupted by taunts of “No trans fat to slow me down now, huh?,” “What, not enough niacin?” and “Oh, too few calories to keep going, Buttercup?” The frame pulls back to reveal Cindy Goody, the quick-service chain’s new U.S. director of nutrition, sitting atop a prone Marion Nestle, the famed nutrition gadfly, her arms firmly pinned to the ground. “Well,” says Goody, “I guess we know who’s going to be doing the talking about McDonald’s nutritional values from here on in.” Cue the “I’m lovin’ it” theme music.

A tad extreme, admittedly, but it does get across the point that McDonald’s USA has fortified itself with a well-known, highly respected new authority on family nutrition. Indeed, it’ll be harder for the diet activists to throw mud at the chain with Goody lending her reputation to Big Mac. This, after all, is the Ph.D holder who once crafted an article called “Snack Attack! Over 150 Guilt-free Treats for Healthy Munching.” And we’re not talking about a story in “Family Circle.” She wrote it for a professional journal called “The Diabetes Educator.” It’s just one of what appears to be a number of instances where Goody melded a scholarly and a popular approach to nutrition. If she manages to similarly synthesize those sensibilities for McDonald’s, she could be a formidable addition indeed: Nutritional science in a wrapper of plainspoken, sensible language.

Skeptics will no doubt disparage the hiring as a sop to the nutritional whiners. Nestle and her ilk carping again about too much fat or way too many calories? Quick, trot out Goody and a plate of Apple Dippers.

McDonald’s would deserve a skewering if that proves to be the case. But if it actually does tap Goody’s expertise to develop more healthful choices and teach the public some fundamentals about eating right, the development will be a goodie indeed.


  1. Peter, I think you have framed it correctly. Albeit, in your sick and twisted demented way. She is either Deniro in the Jesuit priest role where he is sent to educate the natives or she is Charlie Sheen in Wall Street. Either way you have to look at the move as a pander but who am I to begrudge someone hitting the paydday lottery. I just hope she has good nose plugs or Anosmia, because whatever she got won't cover up the stink.

    Sincerely, Steakman

  2. A health czar at McDonald's. I am sorry but when I got to get some of the best damn french fries out there I want them with an extra helping of trans fat to make them really crispy. No one is really going to the golden arches because the food is healthy, are they?