Last Updated 01 Apr 2020

McDonalds and Social Responsibility

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All companies have a responsibility to the public to ensure that their products are not harmful in any manner.  Presently, America is facing a national health crisis as the number of adults and children suffering from obesity continue to rise.  Companies that provide food to the public need to make sure their foods are nutritious and fit for human consumption.

McDonalds was socially responsible in their actions to stop super-sizing food items.  McDonalds is aware of the obesity epidemic in America, and eliminating the oversized food servings might help in some small way.    After all, McDonalds has been nicknamed the “calorie king,” (Good Business Deeds, 2004).  Moreover, Morgan Spurlock caused McDonalds to be pressured even more after making a documentary of his experience of eating only food from McDonalds for a month.  He “gained 25 pounds, his cholesterol level soared, and his liver became impaired,” (McDocumented – One Month of living on Only McDonalds Food, n.d.).

On the other hand, is McDonalds to blame for the obesity problems in America?  Hasn’t McDonalds always been socially responsible?  McDonalds has been in business for decades and has maintained life long customers and many of them are not obese.  McDonalds provides most of the same food products that it has always provided, including salads.  Is it their fault that people choose to order a burger and fries instead?  Maybe we need to look at the personal responsibility of consumers.  Society has changed, and more Americans lead a sedentary lifestyle than in the past.  Becoming more physically active definitely plays a role in the obesity crisis as much as our diets.

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Why has McDonalds been singled out over the super-sizing issue?  Even convenience stores provide super-sized soft drinks.  McDonalds is socially responsible, but individuals need to take more personal responsibility in eating a balanced diet and exercising.

“In the 1990s, McDonalds spent over $3 billion dollars on recycled products,” (Good Business Deeds, 2004).  This clearly demonstrates that McDonalds is making an effort to be socially responsible.  Not just for show, but because of the values of the company.  “We take seriously our commitment to conducting our business in a way that respects the world around us and the issues that matter most to you,” (McDonalds Corporation, 2004).

Although they will no longer continue to super-size, some consumers will eat twice as much of the regular size.  McDonalds is not to blame for gluttony.  McDonalds is simply providing a service that consumers want, fast and convenient foods.   That is what restaurants do.  They provide the types of food that people want to eat.  If consumers didn’t enjoy the food at McDonalds they wouldn’t buy it.  The problem with obesity is not a McDonalds issue.

The problem is that too many Americans do not want to take responsibility for their personal choices.  McDonalds has restaurants all over the world, including most countries in Asia.  However, most people in Asian countries are fit and trim.  McDonalds is serving up the same food to them as it is to Americans, but they are not suffering from obesity.  May our problem is greed.  We are a materialistic society and we stuff our mouths with food, our closets with excessive clothing, and our bank accounts with money.

We never seem to be able to satisfy our appetites.  So when McDonalds eliminated super-sized products we started eating twice as much of the smaller portions.  Whether or not a restaurant serves large or small portions, we will eat as much food as we want to eat.  The ‘food police’ cannot control how much anyone chooses to eat.  And we will continue to gain weight and suffer from poor health.  But this is the law of cause and effect.  Because we eat in excess we are affecting our health.  Because we refuse to exercise, our bodies will fail us.  It is not up to the government to punish the companies that make or provide food.  It is up to each person to take the time to plan and eat balance and healthy meals.

We eat at McDonalds because we want instant gratification.  Isn’t it faster and easier to grab a burger on the way home from work, than to go home and good real food?  Isn’t it easier to take diet pills than to take a 30-minute walk each day?  We have the option of making decisions that are best for our health.  Unfortunately, the sad truth is that many of us are choosing to be obese, and we are in denial.  Our health is our responsibility.

Good Business Deeds (2004).  Retrieved April 8, 2007 from

McDocument – One Month of Living on Only McDonalds Food (n.d.).  Retrieved April 8, 2007 from;sid=04/01/28/07585282

McDonalds Corporation (2004).  Responsibility.  Retrieved April 8, 2007 from





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