Posts Tagged 'McMuffin'

Parents in UAE admit to caving into child’s fast food demands

ABU DHABI // More than half of parents who give their children unhealthy food regularly do so despite knowing the adverse effects and because of their offsprings’ insistence.

A survey of 999 Emirati parents found that 40 per cent often let their children consume calorie-laden foods such as chips, burgers, pizza and chocolate.

The survey, compiled for Al Aan TV’s Nabd Al Arab (Arabs’ Pulse) programme and The National by YouGov, found that 59 per cent said this was because they cave in to their children who “insist” on eating unhealthy foods.

A further 32 per cent said they gave their children unhealthy foods because they were “picky eaters”.

Other respondents said they had no time to prepare healthy meals at home and said unhealthier foods were more convenient, while some said fast food and ready-to-eat prepackaged dinners were cheaper than preparing a meal from scratch.

Of those who admitted to giving their children unhealthy food, one in 10 admitted they did so “whenever they ask for it”.

More than 50 per cent of respondents said they fed their children unhealthy food “once to twice a week”.

But experts are clear that a healthy lifestyle when a child is young is key to the prevention of weight problems and obesity later, and avoiding illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease.

“Food parents choose for kids these days has become a matter of convenience rather than health,” said Rashi Chowdhary, a Dubai-based nutritionist. “It is easier for parents to order in a pizza over a nutrient rich, home-cooked meal.

“Parents are a child’s biggest role model, but since adults here are completely misinformed about food, they take no time out for any activity and eat unhealthy meals next to their kids, so having unhealthy, overweight or even obese children is bound to happen.

“Kids as young as eight have Type 2 diabetes in the UAE today.”

The answer, she said, was to “encourage your children to eat food in its most natural original form. So choose whole fruit over fruit juices, pick whole grain breads over refined white breads, whole milk over skimmed”. She added: “Start at a young age with kids, and they will grow up to be healthier adults.”

The study found Dubai parents were more than twice as likely to give their children unhealthy food as parents in Abu Dhabi or Sharjah. Of those asked, 42 per cent admitted buying fast food on a “regular basis” for their children.

Hamda Al Hameli said she regularly gave her three children fast food because of its convenience.

“I am a working woman and do not have enough time to cook when I return home,” said the 28-year-old Abu Dhabi resident. “I admit it, most of the time I pick food up.”

Mrs Al Hameli buys takeaways such as baguettes, burgers or hot-dogs for her children three or four times a week.

But Rahma Al Ketbi, a nutrition education manager at the Abu Dhabi-based Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, said parents needed to be role models for healthy eating.

The risk of adult obesity is at least twice as high for obese children than for non-obese children, she said.

“Adolescents are being diagnosed at younger and younger ages due to obesity linked to physical inactivity and unhealthy diets,” she said.

“Children are often more willing and open to learn about healthy choices than adults realise,” she said. “Just don’t force them to choose between cookies and carrots. But, if the option is between fruit and whole-grain crackers with cheese, either choice is a winner.”

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/health/parents-in-uae-admit-to-caving-into-childs-fast-food-demands

McDonald’s director of nutrition insists the fast food menu is healthy

The director of nutrition for McDonald’s is insisting that the menu offered at the fast food chain is healthy.

Speaking about the launch of the new McWrap, Dr Cindy Goody said healthy eating is a top priority at the franchise

McDonald’s Corp. has been stepping up the pace of its new menu offerings as it struggles to grow sales in the challenging economy. Last year, the company ousted the head of its U.S. division after a monthly sales figure fell for the first time in nearly a decade.

Dr Goody has worked for the Golden Arches since 2008.

Her job is to evaluate the nutritional information of the items on the menu and to consult on healthier options to include.

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune this week, when asked point blank if food at McDonald’s was healthy, she responded with a confident ‘I do.’

‘It is possible to eat from the recommended USDA My Plate food groups when visiting McDonald’s. It’s about choice. It’s about customization. It’s about looking at the calories on the menu board.’

The hamburger chain has Dr Goody traveling the country to promote its new found commitment to nutritional food, the inspiration for its new wrap.

The new sandwich will come in three varieties – Chicken & Bacon, Sweet Chili Chicken and Chicken & Ranch.

The Oak Brook, Ill.-based chain says the McWraps use the same type of flour tortillas and chicken as its snack wraps, which were introduced in 2006.

But two of the new McWraps will come with cucumbers, which the company says will mark the first time the vegetable will be part of its core menu. The wraps range from 360 to 600 calories, depending on whether people pick grilled or deep-fried chicken.

Dr Goody highlighted past wins in the nutrition race like smaller sized fries in Happy Meals for kids, reducing calories from 230 to 100, and adding apples to the children’s meal.

For the adults healthier alternatives like yogurt parfait, salads and oatmeal have been added.

She revealed that the restaurant will be offering a new breakfast sandwich in April, the Egg White Delight, that is made with 100 per cent egg whites and has 250 calories compared to the Egg McMuffin’s 300 calories.

They are also looking to incorporate carrots into their menu for kids.

Though she is on the lookout for helping make the brand more health concious, she did concede that the company must first and foremost respond to consumer demand.

‘Other parts of the world have transitioned or offered a whole grain Big Mac bun for their customers because that’s what their customers were asking for. [U.S] customers are not asking for their Big Mac to be on a whole grain bun,’ she said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2301061/McDonalds-director-nutrition-Dr-Cindy-Goody-insists-fast-food-menu-healthy.html