For Immediate Release
Provocative Commercial Targets McDonald’s High-Fat Fare
Doctors Link Washington’s Heart Disease Rates to High Concentration of Golden Arches, Other Fast-Food Outlets
WASHINGTON - A provocative fast-food commercial set in a morgue will air during The Daily Show
and local news broadcasts Sept. 16. The ad, produced by the nonprofit
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), takes aim at McDonald's high-fat menu,
with the goal of drawing Washingtonians' attention to the city's high
rates of heart disease deaths and its high density of fast-food
"Our city's addiction to Big Macs and other
high-fat fast food is literally breaking our hearts," says Susan Levin,
M.S., R.D., PCRM's nutrition education director. "It's time to tackle
the district's heart disease problem head-on. A moratorium on new
fast-food restaurants could be a critically important step toward
fighting this epidemic."
A PCRM survey shows that Washington has
more McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC outlets per square mile than eight
other cities with similar population sizes. Offerings at these
restaurants include high-fat, high-sodium products such as McDonald's
Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Extra Value Meal, which has 61 grams
of fat and 1,650 milligrams of sodium.
McDonald's, the world's largest fast-food
chain, serves a long list of high-fat, high-cholesterol items and offers
almost no healthful choices, according to an analysis by PCRM
Heart disease kills more than 1,500
residents of the district each year. According to the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, the age-adjusted death rate from heart
disease in the city is the second highest in the country, above
high-obesity states like Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.
Studies, including one from the U.S.
Department of Agriculture, show that people who consume fast food are at
a higher risk of obesity, a key risk factor for heart disease. Regular
consumption of high-fat, high-cholesterol foods increases the risk of
heart disease, and studies have found that even a singly fatty meal can
raise blood pressure, stiffen major arteries, and cause the heart to
The commercial will air in other fast-food addicted cities with high rates of heart disease over the following months.
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Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.