Fast food is trying to be healthier in order to attract Millennials. However, the question is, will it work? Some feel that after years of addiction to salt and fat, it's hard to change that in Americans.
“When you combine our biological predilections with the economic forces that prevail today, you can understand why people love Big Macs and Whoppers,’’ said nutritionist Marion Nestle. “They are what our brain prefers. Evolution is not going to change that equation in the near term.”
McDonald's is trying to change the formula of their food, by adding more sophisticated "signature" sandwiches with avocado in order to attract diners who want healthier options. McDonald's is also replacing fries with apple slices to try to make fast food healthier for kids.
"We think McDonald’s is raising the bar,” said Howell Wechsler, an advisor to McDonalds's, and chief executive of Alliance for a Healthier Generation. “It’s a challenge to other companies in the field to get out there and do what’s right for kids.”
In addition to big chain stores, corner stores are also trying to add healthy food to their shelves. Many people can only get food from convenience stores because they're in food deserts. Food deserts are econonomically depressed areas without access to a grocery store.
Kelli Jackson, the owner of Hank's Mini Market in L.A, partnered with Sweetgreen, a salad chain restaurant, to add healthy food to the store.
"I started questioning what a corner store could be,” said Jackson.. “That might not sound so far away, but when you think about a mother and she doesn’t have a car, she has to get on the bus and she has the whole family, sometimes that can be a hassle.”
Jackson said she hopes that her actions can help both the small and big food providers change the way they serve food to their customers.
“I’m hoping that through this project that the conversation of what a corner store can be starts being discussed, and that these owners start thinking about taking more responsibility to bring or be a part of bringing more access to healthy food,” she says. “There’s just so many of us without affordable healthy food that it will be great to see more businesses that look like ours doing the same thing."
Hopefully, McDonald's and other fast food outlets can find a way to give affordable food to customers that's good for them, too. Convenient food doesn't have to always be sugary or salty. Fast food can be a fun treat, but should only be eaten in moderation. When fast food restaurants combine caring about profits with serving good food to customers, everyone wins.
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