McDonald’s UK CEO said “video games” should take the blame for the obesity epidemic, not fast food. [MCV via BoingBoing]


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  1. Starfury says:


  2. Rando says:

    Well that explains why he has a mcjob and not a real job.

  3. full.tang.halo says:

    Video games = Sitting around not burning calories
    Mc Donald’s = An ass load of empty calories

    VG + McD’s = American, and UK, Obesity problem.

  4. vanilla-fro says:

    well…..technically he isn’t totally wrong. the video games do help the kids be lazy enough to not be able to work off the calories from the food they eat because they or their parents are to lazy to cook/prepare healthy stuff to eat

  5. Curiosity says:

    I wonder if he was watching the Simpsons episode “Itchy & Scratchy & Marge” [] where the Springfield’s children adopt wholesome activities outside like exercise in the absence of Itchy and Scratchy?

  6. cmp179 says:

    I hate to take the side of McDonald’s, but I remember when the first version of Nintendo came out. I was a kid at the time, and the outdoor activities of me and the other kids who were my age dropped dramatically. I do think the fast food industry has to share in the responsibility, but I can see this man’s point.

  7. disavow says:

    Or maybe…parents?

  8. StinkyCat says:

    Well it is true that there can be only 1 thing to blame not any sort of combination.

  9. evslin says:

    He’s not wrong, but he’s also not telling the whole story.

  10. WebCudgel says:

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but don’t many McDonald’s restaurants now have those “game system kiosks” in the playland area? I know some do here in Texas. It would seem that they would still be contributing to the problem.

  11. UpsetPanda says:

    @disavow: ding ding ding! give disavow a prize. At the root of the problem is parenting. Too much of this, too little of that breeds fat children. What happened to everything in moderation? Physical activity is great, but spending four hours outside instead of working on homework isn’t going to help junior’s grades. Similarly, eating fast food is not the devil. Just counter it with actually doing some strenuous physical activity. Fast food + sitting around and doing nothing = fat buildup.

  12. DrGirlfriend says:

    All problems have only one cause. Fact.

    It is not plausible that several factors could be present. Nope.

  13. I feel like everyone in the UK has been on a big “blame the kids” bender.

    “Fucking hoodies” they all say.

  14. sonichghog says:

    Its Not just Games that keep the kids inside.

    I remember when I was 6 I would run all over the place outside. I just had to be in my Dark.

    Now, your busy body neighbors will report you as a bad parent if you let you kids outside for 1 minute without following them everywhere.

    The world has changed alot in 30 years.

  15. sonichghog says:

    Of course, you can just let them play Wii sports too….

  16. Coelacanth says:

    I don’t see why this article made it on Consumerist. He acknowledges the fast food industry plays a role, but the obesity problem is multifactorial.

    Sedentary pasttimes – like playing video games – are most likely a major contributor.

    If he were to deny, or make a major effort to minimise the role diet plays in obesity, then we’d have news.

  17. Leiterfluid says:

    Food doesn’t make people fat.

    Eating food makes people fat.

  18. WebCudgel says:

    @Leiterfluid: I wonder how long I’ll have to go without food until I lost the 70 pounds I need to lose… something tells me that I may have some serious health issues (i.e., starving to death) before I lose 70 pounds.

    It’s not eating food that makes us fat, it is lack of control and moderation and bad choices versus good choices that makes us fat (along with inactivity, genetic proclivities, etc.).

  19. Sam says:

    Well, as long as we’re pointing fingers, I blame (in particular order): television, packaged food and automobiles.

    There, that ought to cover everything. Oh, and laziness.

  20. unklegwar says:

    Of course, it should be one, and not the other.

    We all know there’s no such thing as multiple causes for the same problem. It’s gotta be the FOOD *OR* the games, it could never be both!

  21. KarmaChameleon says:

    @WebCudgel: A lot of the ones here in the Phoenix metro area have them too.

    Also, three words for this dumbass CEO: Dance Dance Revolution. Sedentary behavior of any sort contributes to obesity, but eating a lot of shitty food is equally responsible.

  22. Javert says:

    I would go one step further. The wheel. If we walked everywhere we would be thin and they could not ship evil Wiis to the stores.

    So blame the wheel and buy a Whopper!

    CEO Burger King

    (The above is a joke. It is Friday. Enjoy your time off. I am going to run home so I can exist in a digital world.)

  23. dohtem says:

    Hey MacDonald’s, as long as you also share the blame with gun violence in schools, then it’s ok.

  24. joellevand says:

    Q: What do video games and fast food have in common?
    A: The only way for kids to get them (without stealing) is have their parents buy them.

  25. SaraAB87 says:

    McDonalds installs Video Game Kiosks in some locations..

    McDonalds removes the play area that kids are supposed to use after they eat to burn off the calories they just consumed to install these video game kiosks..

    McDonalds installs free wifi hotspots so kids can bring their Nintendo DS system to McDonalds and play online after they are done eating instead of going to the play area to burn off the calories…

    Irony Irony Irony

    The Japanese play 50x as many video games as American children and I don’t see Japan complaining about an obesity epidemic.

    Is it just me or do you guys think this obesity epidemic is location-based? Its just there really aren’t that many fat kids where I am, yes there are fat kids but there has always been fat kids. I see a healthy mixture here with the occasional fat kid and most often times the fat kid is accompanied by extremely obese parents which suggests its genetic in that case. There are still plenty of skinny kids where I live and if you spend time with kids you will find they LOVE to go out and play if they are given the opportunity to do so. Parents who don’t give the kids the opportunities they need to exercise and get physical activity are the ones that should be blamed. Its the parents fault for constantly shoving the kid in front of the TV or video games, if parents introduce their kids to exercise, sports and outdoor play they just might like it!

    From the kids I see most are so energetic that they practically jump in place while they are sitting down especially when they are younger. I don’t understand all the complaining about kids not moving around enough when most of the kids I encountered you cannot get them to sit still for anything!!

  26. ShadowFalls says:


    Play Wii Sports and tell me if it can’t be done.

  27. Phildawg says:

    wasn’t there a McDonalds in the the 60s and 70s? I might be wrong… but I thought we have had fast food for a long time… However, video games hit it “big” in the early 90s (starting in the early 80s with the NES).

    I think he is actually on target with this accusation.

  28. MARTHA__JONES says:

    I don’t think he is 100% incorrect, but it sounds like one more reason to be glad I don’t eat at McDonald’s.

  29. banmojo says:

    Parents who let their kids play vid games for hours on end are the real culprit here. POOR PARENTING is the root of this problem, and creating a national system that promotes GOOD parenting and punishes POOR parenting would be key in changing this epidemic for the better. I mean, fer f4#@’s sake, you can still SMOKE CIGS in a closed car with your infant and kids locked inside, unable to leave, in all 50 states, and this isn’t considered child abuse!! FTW!@!!

  30. SaraAB87 says:

    Yeah but it was never really considered “bad” for kids to go to McD’s in the 80’s. Now its like a crime against humanity if you take your kid to McD’s and your considered a bad parent if you take them there. I also don’t think people used McD’s for their entire diet like some people do now. I wonder if the quality of the food has gone downhill since then, has the food at McD’s gotten worse for you since the 80s??

    Don’t forget theres also significantly more fast food places than there were just 20 years ago, I say 20 years ago because I really cannot comment on a time before I was born. Before there was like one place on every shopping strip now theres a Taco Bell, Wendy’s, BK, McDonalds and Pizza hut (and sometimes more than one of these) within close proximity of each other giving people even more opportunities to eat nothing but unhealthy food. It seems like unhealthy food is everywhere and you have to really look to find that needle in the haystack place to eat that actually serves something decent for you.