Rio’s best athletes were seen standing in lengthy line-ups ordering over 20 McDonald’s items at a time as the fast food giant gives away free McDonalds in the Olympic village.
The athletes uncomplainingly await for their super-sized orders, but why is the company selling unhealthy food? These junk food giants see events such as the Olympics as an opportunity to promote unhealthy food choices.
The fact is, McDonald’s has been a major sponsor of the Olympic Games since 1968 and has apparently paid a huge $98 million dollar to extend its sponsorship until 2020! According to recent reports, Coke spends about $44 million per 4-year game cycle, since 1928 as well!
With such huge figures, no wonder these companies are first to sponsor such events.
“It breaks the monotony,” says Kevin Cordes, an American swimmer who won a gold in the 4 X 100 medley relay and says he had a burger before his first race in Rio. “You feel comfortable and happy eating. You get to relax, and slow down a bit.”
Who else can manage to pay this kind of money and provide free food to thousands of athletes every day? I guess companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola have the money to put onward but does their message match the focus of what the Olympics, sport and being active is all about?
According to World Health Organization’s latest report, global fatness is currently at its peak with over 600 million adults worldwide now measured to be overweight. The fast-food industry has been labeled as one of the most responsible sources for contributing to such figures.
Companies with healthy food should sponsor more in sports events, highlighting how important nutrition really is for optimal performance.