New York teenagers Ashley Pelman and Jazlyn Bradley are in the middle of a lawsuit against McDonalds. They are blaming McDonalds hamburgers, which they regularly consumed three to four times a week, for their 120kg weight. McDonald`s failed to disclose information that Big Macs could lead to health problems, including obesity, diabetes, coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels, they contend. Four years ago, following the announcement that obesity cost 300,000 American lives annually, George Washington University professor John Banzhaf, widely known for his antismoking lawsuits, declared war on McDonalds. Of all the places to blame for obesity, could this attack targeting McDonalds be caused by its supreme distinction?
Since McDonalds first opened its stores in 1955 in Des Plaines, Illinois, it has grown to become the biggest fast-food chain industry, with 31,561 stores in 119 countries worldwide, feeding over 4.8 million customers daily. It sets the standard for the Big Mac Index, which is used for comparing the real purchasing power of different countries, and also created the word McJob, a term meaning low-paying, dead-end work. Innovation is the secret that lies beneath the rise of McDonalds, now an icon of American values and lifestyles.
McDonalds founder Ray Kroc was a milkshake machines salesman. He visualized the prospect of a unique hamburger store run by the McDonald brothers. A factory-like assembly system was adopted in the making of hamburgers the same way the Ford Motor Company made its cars. McDonalds hamburgers, which are assembled bigger, faster, cheaper, and with more convenience, well reflect the characteristics of Americans. Its most recent promotion campaign focuses on healthy diets, namely salads, with the aid of sports stars encouraging customers to work out under the current well-being trend.
Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonalds Corp., asserts the need for personal responsibility in response to the companys accusation as the main cause of obesity. He points out that each individual bears the responsibility for choosing the right diet to take care of ones health. This counter attack calls for people who criticize McDonalds and view it as an icon of imperialism and anti-globalization movements, to question themselves.
Are we innovating enough, in a way that McDonalds adapts itself to the changes of the world? In other words, will we be able to reach the top by forever blaming others?
Kim Sun-duk, Editorial writer, firstname.lastname@example.org