How McDonald’s Has Been a Topic of Controversy for Years

How McDonald's Has Been a Topic of Controversy for Years Clapway

Anyone looking to eat healthy knows that McDonald’s is not their first choice to go to. With an overwhelming amount of outlets, which can be found in every nook and cranny of the country, it is hard to avoid going inside. Although most people looking to eat clean know how that the fast food chain is providing them with food that harms the body instead of nourishing it, but this specific fast food chain has found a way to deceive them as well.

What were the Controversies?

Due to the recent controversies surrounding the fat and calories present in their meals, they have made headlines several times previously to design their menu so that it is less in fatty content. All to no avail. Each “healthy addition” to the menu has been met with controversies, and in deeper water than they already were previously. Momentarily, the sales for McDonald’s go down and people stop believing in their healthy campaigns. Yet again, the fast food chain manages to change their advertisements or their menu plan to cater to people who would prefer a healthy alternative.

A few of these controversies that have caught the most public attention are as follows:

McDonalds Inorganic Food

In 2014, McDonald’s came under fire for providing its customers with the claim that its products are highly processed and filled with chemicals that affect your health adversely. The pink slime rumors had gained strength in that year. People were actually believing that McDonald’s was indeed poisoning their foods with chicken feet and eyeballs all merged together in their burger patties and nuggets. This prompted McDonald to change their marketing campaign entirely. Their ads encouraged customers to have a look in their kitchens and see how they prepare the meals that they serve.

Media outlets were also invited in their meat processing factories. The cameras were allowed to document huge chunks of red going through the machine to only come out as ground meat. It was emphasized that the meat was natural and all of the processes in place were to provide healthy food to the consumers.

McDonalds makes Amends

In an effort to mend its image as an unhealthy eatery, it soon started its campaign around a school teacher who had lost weight eating only from McDonald’s. John Cisna, who is a Science teacher had watched the documentary “Super Size Me” where the same stunt had made Morgan Spurlock, the subject of the documentary, overweight and sick. John, however, made the exact opposite happen and lost 37 pounds by eating only from McDonald’s for 90 days total.

This move although boosted McDonald’s sale and image immensely, it had become yet another topic of controversy. This was because; John had no exercise before he had started his McDonald diet, but after going on this diet he would walk 45 minutes daily. John also strictly calculated his calorie intake for every meal he ate so that he can live a balanced diet. Despite losing weight, the diet that he took for the 90 day period was not healthy. Being healthy is not just about losing weight, instead, it is about the nutrition you provide your body and what benefits your body. The menu choices are still filled with carbohydrates, saturated fats, and sugar. For these reasons it is not recommended for anyone to take up a diet like the one as Mr. John Cisna. The menu for lunch or dinner may have always been unhealthy, now the McDonalds breakfast deals have also turned into a meal filled with calories and sugar.

The Controversy Continues

Despite clearing up so much air in the previous year, 2015 was still no help for McDonald’s, as it still was surrounded by people’s comments over its foul contents in various meals. Fries were typically the target of the consumer’s concern. This was because these fries were being served with many ingredients, including multiple preservatives. This confusion was then cleared up by Fox News, who compared the American fry’s ingredients with British ones. This concluded that the recipe was more or less the same and had not been changed drastically.

Later in the year, another report emerged that implied the fact that McDonald’s is including antibiotics in the animals’ diets so that they are stronger and produce more meat. This later prompted a campaign that made FDA restrict the use of drugs for the popular fast food chains. It was concluded that high amounts of dosage for the animals made their meat immune to a bacteria which was resistant to the dosage and could later be passed on to humans upon meat consumption.

The poultry, beef and pork farms that the McDonalds trusted for their supply of meat, all were found to be using this method. This whole debacle resulted in McDonald’s again clearing up its situation and trying to explain to its customers that they are indeed taking steps to ensure the best quality byproducts which are not harmful for human consumption.

2016 eating Healthy

So far McDonald’s had 2 tumultuous years of clearing up horrible stories about food. It also contributed to the community by promoting its healthier foods and introducing healthy to eat options for people who are conscious about their weights. Jumping in on the trend, the restaurant introduced a kale salad. This salad included fried chicken along with kale as its primary ingredients. Toppings of various sauces made the salad tastier. People who were looking to lose weight were inclined towards ordering that salad as it was considered a healthy alternative from the food chain’s burgers.

On the contrary, it turned to have more calories than a double big mac which has 680 kcal, while the salad had 730 Kcal. McDonald’s put forward the statement that the fried chicken can be replaced with grilled chicken for people who prefer it, while the sauce toppings could be removed altogether from the salad. This product failed to serve its target audience and did not do well on the market.

McDonald’s fruit and maple oatmeal were also no exceptions. The cereal contained dried cranberries and apples. In addition to that, it also contained 3 grams of sugar. This is as close to a 450 ml can of coke which contains 39 grams of sugar. Even though it was noted that some of the sugar content was present because of the fruits present in the cereal, but it was concluded that it was unhealthy breakfast.


The controversies in recent year have shown a bad spotlight on McDonald’s. It has descended its image from being a family friendly restaurant to that of a place that should be avoided as much as possible.  To make their brand as big as it was a few years ago, they desperately need more products that promote a healthy lifestyle and are filled with nutrients. This can successfully attract a lot of positive attention for the company and bring back the customer base they once had. It is important for McDonald’s to test their products and calculate a number of nutrients that they are serving their customers before they advertise it as a healthy product. Precautions like these can be the only savior for McDonald’s and its declining consumer base.