Is McDonald's ice cream bad for diabetics
Interview - Ex-McDonald’s manager unpacks - even the veggie burger is fake
Ex-McDonald’s manager unpacks - even the veggie burger is fake
Former McDonald’s manager Harald Sükar railed against burgers & Co. He warns parents not to go to fast food restaurants with their children and explains that even the veggie burger is a fake.
When did you eat your last Big Mac?
Harald Sükar: Two or three years ago. When I worked at McDonald’s, I ate fast food almost every day. I weighed 110 kilos and am 1.77 meters tall. My health was bad. Then I began to wonder how it could have come to this.
What did you find out?
After my time at McDonald’s, I immersed myself in studies of nutrition and realized what was going wrong in the fast food system. I became a vegetarian - and know-it-all. (laughs) I often gave friends a conscience when they drank soft drinks or ate a lot of meat.
Wasn't that annoying to those around you?
Yes, of course. They said: Better write a book. The initial spark was then that an 8-year-old child of a friend was so overweight that it fell ill with diabetes. It had fatty liver like an alcoholic. Now it has to inject insulin for a lifetime.
They claim McDonald’s seduces the children.
With sophisticated kids marketing. All employees are instructed to treat children like kings. At McDonald’s, children are allowed to eat with their fingers, and they can be loud and run around, so be completely children. Each branch has a playground, the Ronald McDonald clown and a happy meal with toys. Even toddlers react positively to the french fries yellow logo. An early childhood imprint with consequences.
In the book you speak of “heavy users” and “super heavy users”, some of whom eat at McDonald’s every day. Who are these regular customers?
Many of them are adolescents who have been "on IVs" since childhood. The company lives from making them dependent on sugar and fat. Studies show that overweight people are more likely to be in the lower education sector.
You compare sugar with heroin and cocaine, which seems a lot over the top.
The sweet “white poison” works in the brain in a similar way to cocaine. A child who eats a Happy Meal with dessert and cola will cover their sugar needs for a whole week. Soft drinks and ice cream give the greatest sugar shock. A dessert with a topping at McDonald’s contains around 65 grams of sugar, which is three times the daily requirement.
The fact that fast food makes you fat and sick is nothing new. Nevertheless, McDonald’s Switzerland achieved record sales of CHF 761 million in 2018. What else should your book achieve?
If someone inside the company writes a book, it has more credibility. You believe an insider more. I am mainly addressing parents. If I save an only child from diabetes, my goal will be achieved. I am also concerned with awareness. The more we face things, the more likely we are to change a bad habit. Constant dripping wears away the stone. Food habits persist.
Big Mac inventor Jim Delligatti ate a Big Mac every week. He was 98.
There are always exceptions. A new study from Harvard found that those who eat meat three times a week are 18 percent more likely to die sooner.
The Big Mac is an icon of American food culture. It has been around for 52 years - a cultural asset.
I can't see anything cultural in a hamburger. Hamburger is fast food, and fast food is fake food that is extremely high in empty calories. Everywhere that fast food has found its way - in China, India, Hawaii - people suddenly became overweight. Before that, they were slim when they ate their typical local food.
But there is now even a vegan burger that takes the trend towards healthy eating into account.
What a shame! This is the next big fake: an industrially manufactured chemical product made from genetically modified soy. This has nothing to do with natural nutrition.
What happens to you when you eat a hamburger?
You feel happy because the brain releases dopamine. The sugar level rises. Because we're at McDonald’s, we quench our thirst with a Coke. After 40 minutes we are really hungry. The digestive tract has absorbed the corn syrup, our sugar levels go crazy. Digestion should start after an hour. With the Big Mac, it takes longer because of the trans fats. It can take more than seven weeks for these to be completely dismantled.
You can keep it moderate and only treat yourself to a burger, chicken nuggets or donuts every now and then.
It is a shame to appeal to personal responsibility. The sugar in junk food is addictive to children. Addiction turns reason off. Incidentally, it doesn't matter where you catch the overdose - at McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell, North Sea - or at the furniture chain Ikea with their unbeatably cheap menus. They all use similar tricks.
How did your former employer react to the book?
Not at all. This is part of McDonald’s company policy: keep silent, do not comment. My book is running under mini-crisis at McDonald’s. A wave that will soon be smoothed out again.
This is what McDonald's Switzerland says about the book
(mem) What does McDonald’s Switzerland say about Harald Sükar's accusation that the group systematically makes children dependent on fast food that makes them sick? «We cannot understand his statements», Answers press officer Deborah Murith on request. Harald Sükar was Managing Director of McDonald’s Austria until 2006. He has no relation to McDonald’s Switzerland. «We have bread made from IP-Suisse flour and Swiss beef, which Bell AG processes into burger patties»Writes Murith. "These are not industrially manufactured chemical products." The sundae dessert has nutritional values that are comparable to other ice creams. A lot has happened since top manager Sükar left 13 years ago. Guests could choose salad instead of fries for the same price. And water is also available for the menu. The Happy Meal does not contain any artificial phosphates. "And we always add a portion of fruit." Obtain local ingredients; Chicken products are delivered by Ospelt in Sargans and the rolls are baked in the Fortisa bakery in Zuchwil. The fast food group operates 169 restaurants in Switzerland.
Harald Sükar: The Fast Food Trap. How McDonald’s and Co. earn billions at the expense of our health. Edition a, 256 pages
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