Why doesn't McDonalds serve healthier food

A top McDonald's manager unpacks

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Always looks the same, always smells the same, always tastes the same. No matter where you are in the world, you can count on a burger to always be a burger. But this feeling of familiarity is only one aspect of the customer-catching strategies of large fast food chains. Harald Sükar, former manager at McDonald's, claims that the fast food companies make their consumers very systematically dependent on themselves: with too much sugar, too much salt and too much fat.

He has made it his business to open consumers' eyes. With his new book he wants to show how dangerous the fast food companies really are and how they manipulate people in a targeted manner. Sharp criticism of a profitable industry, of toothless politicians and bought scientists.

Stories from the world of fast food

The author begins his book with stories from his life in the fast food business and describes the illusory world in which he found himself at the time. He already knew that fast food makes you fat when he worked there, but for a long time he was convinced that it is the consumers' own fault if they eat too many burgers - and generally exercise too little.

A lot has happened since then. Sükar has given up his McDonald's career and is now passing on his insider knowledge to the public. In addition to the insights into the mentality of the fast food company, he compiles data, quotes and studies that are intended to make tangible how harmful and dangerous unhealthy nutrition can really be.

Fast food as a drug

He explains the strategies that are used to make both children and adults fully dependent. According to the author, fast food places shouldn't be visited even in exceptional cases. Especially not with children, because they are easier to influence and condition than adults.

According to Sükar, the addictive potential of fast food can be compared with that of heroin, and the first shot - i.e. the first burger - is just as dangerous and can quickly lure young people in particular into fast food addiction.

The corporations earn billions at the expense of the health of their consumers. Obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer are just a few of the consequences of eating too much unhealthy food. According to Sükar, however, not only bad fats, salt and table sugar are responsible for this series of diseases, fast food chains also work with corn syrup, sweeteners, flavor enhancers and other additives that increase the harmfulness of the food.

Take everyone away

With this book, Sükar wants to shake people up - maybe a little too much in some places. The author lets himself be tempted to lurid formulations and exaggerated theses, which are in clear contrast to the well-researched studies and well-thought-out descriptions in the rest of the book.

He calls a chapter "Fast food is child abuse" or speaks of "targeted destruction of health by the industrialized food industry": Sükar may be right at the core, but his choice of words makes it sound a bit like conspiracy theory in places. In doing so, he damages his own agenda - without any need. Because the studies and facts contained in the book speak for themselves. The uncoverer Sükar could therefore have simply saved himself the brute formulations. (Katharina Janecek, July 22, 2019)