In what should come as a surprise to no one, McDonald’s self-proclaimed “bowl full of wholesome” is anything but.
This week, Mark Bittman’s NYT column focused on the the fast food giant’s Fruit and Maple Oatmeal. As Bittman notes, the oatmeal itself contains seven ingredients, the “cream” that’s added contains an additional seven ingredients, only two of which are actually dairy, and a single serving of the menu item contains more sugar than a Snickers bar and more calories than a McDonald’s hamburger.
McDonald’s is hardly at the forefront of the “Eat Real Food” movement. The fact that they’ve managed to take something as healthy and basic as oatmeal and turn it into chemical-laden garbage is hardly newsworthy. After all, this is the company whose salads are loaded with saturated fat, sodium, and mega calories.
I agree with Bittman in that the problem here is McDonald’s marketing tactics. They’ve taken something that the population considers healthy, and they market it to the hilt as healthy and “wholesome.”
But it’s not.
Yes, it’s our job as consumers to read labels and research the nutritional components of the food we eat. We have the choice not to eat at McDonald’s, or Burger King, or their many counterparts.
And yet some don’t. And many of these people do not have the food education necessary to arm themselves against the ubiquitous giant of McDonald’s, of which there are four within five minutes of their home. These are the people most harmed by deceptive marketing techniques aimed at making them believe they are making a healthy choice when they are not.
In an ideal world, we would all be label-savvy. We would all eat real food. We would all eschew McDonald’s and live hip to the fact that when they say “wholesome” what they really mean is “wholly addicting and bad for you.”
But that’s not the world we live in. The obesity epidemic, to which fast food is a contributor, is not going anywhere, and when people make poor food choices (either because they don’t care about their bodies, or because they believe what they’re eating is healthy because McDonald’s told them so), we are all affected from the strain placed on health care costs.
So why not place limits on deceptive advertising? Why not make it illegal for a company like McDonald’s to use words like “wholesome” (whose Merriam-Webster definition is “promoting health of the body”) to describe their oatmeal, which contains, as Bittman says, “11 weird ingredients you would never keep in your kitchen.”
What do you think about McDonald’s marketing techniques? Have you tried their oatmeal? I promise, I won’t tell a soul.
11 days from now, the tarps come down and the new retail space will open.
I’m very excited about having a shop return to the club, and the fact that the focus is expanding to offer not only gear for the sports and activities in which we all participate, but also those convenience items we always forget (ear buds, sunscreen, socks, etc.).
The shop opens on Tuesday, March 1st, at 9am, and Jen Snyder, Retail Space Supervisor, has a full day of fun planned.
Here’s what you can expect.
Visit the shop in the morning, and you can enjoy coffee and pastries while you check out the goods. In the afternoon, fruit and cookies will be available, and in the early evening hours, the club is providing veggie trays, cheeses, and wine.
Make a purchase and you’ll receive a free Midtown tshirt and a pair of Midtown logo sunglasses
The winner of the iPad, which you were automatically entered to win if you completed the club communication survey last fall, will be announced.
You can enter to win a Wilson tennis bag.
On-site Product Reps!
A representative from Babor, the skin care line available in the spa, which will also be available in the shop, will answer any skin care questions you might have.
An Ambassador from Lululemon will be available to answer product questions.
Jen tells me that she is so excited about the retail space functioning as “so much more than a pro shop.” She is completely open to member product suggestions (remember, she hosted a fantastic giveaway last month so she could gather all your ideas), and wants you to communicate them both to the shop staff, and via our Facebook page, this blog, and the front desk.
She says, “My hopes for the shop are that members can easily find what they are looking for, and some things pleasantly unexpected as well. I hope to keep things fresh, exciting, and completely convenient for all members. Feedback will be taken with great care and put to the best use.”
Questions for the trainers have been pouring in lately, and this month, Steve Lopes takes on a few of them.
An ex-Marine, Steve once competed on a national level for the Caribbean island of St. Kitts as a Power Lifter and Bodybuilder. He moved to Rochester in 2003, and became a full-time Personal Trainer. With the club since 2006, “Sergeant” Steve teaches two early-morning Boot Camp classes per week and runs S.E.A.L. Training with Bruce Hedlund.
His favorite part of his job is the significant role and impact he has in his clients’ lives.
Reader Question: I made a New Year’s resolution to finally lose about 30 pounds. I started the year off by going to the club almost every day. I’m already slacking off. How do I stay motivated?
Steve: This is very common because people tend to set expectations a little high when making goals. In order to prevent the loss of motivation, you should set realistic expectations. For example: if you have never done cardio and decide that you are going to do a half hour of cardio every day, if you miss a day or two you might thing, “Well, I’ve already failed at my goal so why bother?”
A better goal in this case would be 3 days a week for 15-20mins. Once you add this short duration to your current workout, it may have the opposite effect, for example “Well, I’m already here, and it doesn’t feel so bad, I can do more.”
Reader Question: What’s the best group exercise class to take to improve the overall look of my body? I am a slender woman in my 50s, but I want to tone up as much as Mother Nature will allow. The schedule can be a bit overwhelming.
Steve: There are some factors to consider here. First, what type of exercise do you do regularly? Do you play tennis? Do resistance training? Cardio only? Only classes? All of the above? For example, if you only play tennis, then a Group Power class might be a good investment of your time, because of the amount of stress on your joints from the sometimes explosive movement and unpredictable ball direction.
As a woman in your 50s, you are going to need your connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) to be strong and you’ll need to maintain a certain amount of muscle mass to protect your joints. If you do resistance training and yoga, then a spinning class, step class, zumba, and a core class could be good choices, so that you can build your cardio and core strength to help compliment and support your overall fitness level.
And if you are a tennis player who does yoga, does cardio and resistance training, and you just want to take an additional class, then a bootcamp class could be the way to go because it will tie it all together.
Reader Question: I’ve seen other members moving very fast on the elliptical machines and the Arc Trainers, but I tend to increase my resistance and take it slower. Which is better if my goal is to stay in shape (and not get in shape)?
Variety is key. Challenge yourself with intensity and time. Use higher resistance for longer and shorter durations. If you want to move fast, try and be aware of when your body is moving because you are moving it versus when you have built up so much momentum that your body is just going through the motions. Use lower resistance with a slow movement and total focus on muscle contraction through the whole cycle of movement.
Have you ever tried to use the elliptical at a medium incline of around 6 and a resistance of 5 or 6 and tried to not use any momentum and total muscle focus? It’s pretty challenging. I would also recommend using more than one machine during a cardio workout; it will be more interesting and effective in challenging your body’s ability to adapt to different types of cardiovascular requirements.
Also, don’t be afraid of getting off the machine and spicing up a 30-minute bike or elliptical session with 1 minute of jumping rope for every 5 minutes on the machine.
Reader Question: Is tennis a good workout? My doubles partner says yes, but I don’t have the same feeling after a match that I do after a good run on the treadmill.
It really depends on the person and his/her athletic ability. If you have good hand/eye coordination, are light on your feet, and can move quickly while having good ball placement/judgement, then it may feel like less work for you.
If you want to try and increase your workout on the court, try running on the treadmill before your match for whatever may be a challenge to you (time or distance), and when you get on the court, keep moving. Don’t stand still. Bounce around a little and keep in constant motion. Not only will this increase your readiness and increase the amount of exercise you are getting, it may also rattle your opponents.
Reader Question: What do personal trainers eat for breakfast?
Well, we are people too, so we eat a variety of things. Cereal, oatmeal, fruits, sandwiches, eggs, protein shakes, bagels w/ peanut butter and/or cream cheese, and yogurt with nuts. The list is long.
Depending on our day ahead, food allergies, time between appointments, and personal goals, we believe in setting the proper examples while also enjoying some treats from time to time. Two of my early morning favorites, which are quick and easy to make at 4am are:
1/3 cup of dry oatmeal
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
One scoop of protein powder
Mix together nad enjoy.
4 egg whites
1/3 cup of oatmeal
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon of splenda
Mix together, brown on a skillet for a minute or on each side, and voila-a great and healthy breakfast.
Do you have a question for one of the trainers? Post your question as a comment to this post, or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you email the question, I will ask it anonymously on your behalf, and post the question and answer (but not your name) on the next “Ask the Trainer” post. You do not need to be a member to ask a question.