Roy Bergold: Tales from McDonald’s | July 2012 | By Roy T. Bergold Jr.

Fate is In Our Hands

The restaurant industry must act against the obesity epidemic, or have the government act for us.

Roy Bergold suggests operators act on nutrition before government does.
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WASHINGTON, D.C.—The president today called a special joint session of Congress to once and for all address the obesity issue and what should be done to combat it. Before the session began, all members of both houses were required to weigh in. Almost all members demanded to remove their shoes and wallets before being weighed. Excess weight, they said. An undisclosed majority of both parties were still, shall we say, portly. This later proved the president’s need for action.

The need to hold the session was apparent when a report was filed concerning a certain grocery chain selling five pounds of ground beef, along with a recipe for a single hamburger, at a special price. Further, a certain restaurant chain started selling one-, two-, and three-pound burgers, dripping in grease, along with obscene amounts of fries and a 3,000-calorie shake. It was reported that several customers needed CPR after eating there.

The joint session overwhelmingly passed a measure based on the pursuit of happiness guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence. It proposes that there is no such thing as fat and happy; therefore, fat should be eliminated.

Limits will be placed on the amount of fat, calories, and sugar in foods sold to the public. Anything over these limits will be declared illegal and disposed of. All food vendors to the public will submit a list of what they sell within 30 days for government approval or face fines, incarceration, or both. The same penalties will ensue if a vendor is caught selling an illegal food item.

To assure compliance, a special task force was established called the Food Action Team (FAT). The group has total power to make sure the public is eating only what is healthy. Everyone is required to weigh in every day on computerized scales, with reports submitted to FAT. The enforcers will ensure: no advertising or promotion of illegal foods takes place; children eat two meals a day at school to make sure they are being controlled; and special taxes are placed on high-end foods.

It is reasonably expected that, under the proposed law, health-care costs and health-insurance premiums will decrease because of a decidedly healthier populace. Stocks in health-food companies and exercise facilities will experience extremely heavy trade almost immediately. Conversely, stocks in health-care industries and medicines should decline sharply as the health-care industry mounts an immediate attack on the new law, alleging the weigh-ins as false and misleading evidence.

Meanwhile, it’s been reported that in Chicago, a long-closed tunnel under the city reopened. The tunnel, previously used during Prohibition to get alcohol into the city, now features a restaurant called “Happy Fats” that was erected to sell bootleg hamburgers and fries. The owner is said to be testing the rights of free speech, while also testing the patience of the Food Action Team. Officials are worried black markets like the Chicago tunnel will become widespread.

Or…

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The president called a special joint session of Congress to announce a new government and private-industry program to eliminate obesity in the U.S. Called The Healthy Inner Niche (THIN), the program will attempt to call on citizens’ inner reserves and encourage them to pursue a healthier lifestyle. The program will be totally funded by the government, the insurance industry, the health-food and exercise industries, and the grocery and restaurant industries. The health-care industry declined to comment.

The program will include educating kids as young as preschool about the benefits of nutrition and exercise. Celebrities will be used to make it cool to eat the right foods. Schools will serve healthier foods and reinstitute rigorous physical education programs, or lose federal funding. Students will be invited to submit lists of what they have eaten at home, just like homework.

There will be prizes for weight loss and muscle tone. There will also be free exercise and weight-loss classes for adults, with free weight-loss foods. Kids will be required to try one new food at least once a week. Health care can now concentrate on wellness and prevention, because with less people being treated, there will be more time for research into cures. There will also be less need for cattle and factory farming, and therefore less pollution.

Education and self-control are the key terms. Kids will think it is cool to be in shape. No matter how much marketing fat industries do, it will be ignored.

The measure passed with no nays. The president ceremoniously wrote the first check to get the program rolling. The Senate voted to lose 1,000 collective pounds, calling themselves the Biggest Losers. The House agreed.

Which story do you like best? Which would you rather live under? Folks, we have to self-regulate and join together, or someone will do it for us. We have to stop serving obvious bad food in mega amounts. We must have real choices, not just lip service.

We must vote with our dollars so restaurant concepts will not survive just for the sake of theater. And we must tell people what is in our food in a way that is suitable. Let’s start with our kids and the schools. We have the collective power to make it happen. Go see your school principal and find out what he needs.

Happy Trails, a Peaceful Life, and a Healthy Day.

Roy Bergold

Roy started his career at the Leo Burnett Company in 1967. Two years later he decided to sell hamburgers instead, and began his adventure at McDonald’s. Starting as an assistant advertising manager, he became manager, national advertising manager, director of advertising and promotion, assistant vice president of advertising and promotion, and vice president of advertising.

Roy retired from McDonald’s in 2001 as Chief Creative Officer. Along the way, he was responsible for U.S., as well as all advertising worldwide. While under his care, McDonald’s earned every creative award possible, including Cannes, Clios, and the Four A’s best five year campaign. Roy lives happily in Payson, Arizona, with his wife, dogs, and horses.