06/18/2014 05:19 EDT | Updated 08/18/2014 05:59 EDT

Why the McDonald's Nutrition Ambassador 'Mr. Happy' Makes Me Sad

** FILE ** A McDonald's logo is seen lit outside one of the company's restaurants in a file photo from April 20, 2006, on Chicago's near North Side. McDonald's Corp., the world's largest fast-food chain, forecasts third-quarter earnings above Wall Street's expectations after posting strong increases in same-store sales for September. Its stock jumps to a new six-year high. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

I suppose it is a sign of our times that we must take nutritional advice from a glaring, red box with a frightening face on it. Say hello to "Mr. Happy," McDonald's new ambassador of nutrition. Yes, nutrition and McDonald's are now in the same sentence! Are you scared yet?

I'm scared and sad. I don't want to learn from a box. I don't want to learn from a scary, big toothed, slightly creepy object. How am I supposed to trust that?

I will give McDonald's some credit because they have been adding apple slices to all Happy Meals since 2012 -- nice. Now they are going out big with salads, yogurt (processed of course), milk and juice. Almost sounds like home. At least they are making a stab at offering healthy fare because in truth, many kids have no idea, or receive no instruction, as to what is or isn't healthy. A Happy Meal approved by Mr. Happy might be their first introduction to an apple slice -- who knows? So score some points for that one.

I'm still concerned about the medium in which this education happens. Who's going to eat apples when you can have fries? Who will drink water or milk when there are milkshakes? The offerings of burgers, fries and triple thick shakes are part of the reason some of us have become overweight -- nearly 70 per cent of the population is either overweight or obese, and poor food choices/offerings are likely to blame. Loads of resources have been spent on understanding this burger joint's ideal customer avatar (ICA -- that's you and me, by the way), subliminally or overtly tempting you to eat in their establishment.

Oh and that milkshake -- triple thick, triple sugar. Calories don't mean much when you consider the source, like this goopy concoction that's loaded with the stuff. Sugar carbs are dangerous when you don't realize their long-term effects on our health. Focusing on calories alone makes me crazy. Are the calories in a carrot the same as those in a milkshake? I don't think so! One builds you up, the other breaks you down.

And I realize as I write this, that I am falling into McDonald's trap too. They know that their controversial character will cause a social media uproar. They planned on it. And here I am, adding to the noise. Just look at how many times I have used their keywords to optimize SEO! I'm essentially doing their marketing for them! Ugh!

But we know better. Nutrition needs to be clean, whole, nutrient dense and not in a box. I can make a fast food meal that's more nutritious and much faster than McDonald's can -- raw spinach greens, easy over eggs and a green smoothie. It would take 10 minutes flat and I wouldn't have to leave my house or put expensive, air polluting gas in the car!

Excuse me, I have to go make breakfast. In my own kitchen!

Remember, I'm always listening.


PS. Oh by the way, be sure to check out my Strike Sugar Challenge coming soon. Awesome, nutritional love is coming your way. Learn how to take back your health, one spoonful at a time.


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