The WHOLE POINT of McDonald’s is that I don’t care what I’m doing when I’m in there. If I’ve taken myself to McDonald’s, it’s because I’ve decided to treat myself to a moment of excess - a half-hour of ignoring the words ‘calories’ and ‘vegetables’ and just pigging out.
I’m throwing every single iota of caution into a wind turbine and I am over-ordering like you wouldn’t believe. You think I care, do you? You think I care that I don’t need a side order of Cheddar Melts AND a bag of Chicken Selects in addition to my large Big Tasty with bacon meal? I am so far from caring about calories, I’m practically a walking, talking slab of lard. Leave me out of this, and let me get my meal in peace. It’s not like I do this every day.
So imagine my shock when I discovered that certain fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC are having a government-enforced ‘calorie cap’ placed on their heads, in an attempt to make their meals healthier. Public Health England (PHE) are behind the initiative, which comes hot off the heels of its recent Irn-Bru-ruining sugar tax.
Chief PHE nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone says of the plans: “This is about looking at the 75% of calories that are not covered by the sugar reduction programme.
“This is about things like pizzas [and] ready-made sandwiches, and setting out guidelines for them.
“We’ve got KFC at the back - chicken and chips. We will be talking to you.”
These attacks on calories will run parallel with a new public education programme called One You, which is to lay out, once and for all, exactly how many calories you should be eating in order to stay healthy. Its guidelines say that 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch, 600 for dinner and 400 for snacks and drinks is the way to go.
Sure, this is great - it’s good to stay healthy, but now and again, let me have my stupid, gluttonous treat. When I’ve ‘had a drink’ the night before, and I feel like a stick of celery won’t cut it the next morning, a big, fat burger that sprays molten-hot liquid cheese down my chin is exactly what I need. Dilute the calories and you are directly depriving me of a very specific vice, and therefore I take this as a personal attack on my well-being. You are making me ill, and I won’t stand for it.
If I can’t have my McDonald’s, then I’m simply going to drink all the bottles of olive oil in my kitchen until my heart explodes. And whose fault will that be? You, the government - you did this. I hope you’re happy.
(Image: Aleks Dorohovich)