McDonald's fuel-up combo 'helping people get fat'

Last updated 13:21 09/09/2008

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The Obesity Action Coalition has slammed a McDonald's promotion offering a petrol discount with a combo.

The Fuel-Up Combo offers 10 cents a litre off fuel at Mobil service stations when buying a Big Mac, medium fries, medium soft drink and a hot apple pie for $9.50.

Coalition executive director Leigh Sturgiss said today the food was the sort that was helping people become fat.

The promotion was another example of McDonald's encouraging the public to eat products that had the highest fat, sodium and sugar contents and the least nutritional value.

"Why isn't this deal available if you buy one of McDonald's salads, deli rolls, fruit or a low-fat smoothie?"

She said the combo contained 5633 kilojoules (the measurement of energy), 64 grams of fat, and 57 grams of sugar.

This was about 70 percent the daily energy requirement and twice the fat intake recommended for an 11-year-old girl, Ms Sturgiss said.

"It is exactly the same with the McDonald's Most Valuable Player discount vouchers which are given to children at weekend sports events. You can't use them to purchase McDonald's healthier options either.

A McDonald's spokeswoman said the promotion was its first value promotion and was about rewarding customers in the tight financial times.

The offer was about giving the people who already went to McDonald's and already ate Big Mac's some extra value.

The spokeswoman said the comments from the Obesity Action Coalitions' were surprising in terms of talking about the daily requirements of an 11-year-old girl.

This promotion was targeting core customers who already ate Big Mac's and with the petrol offer it was about people who drove, "so these are adults", she said.

"If you looked at a typical Big Mac eater, it might be a young adult who drives, that's basically what you are looking at with this sort of promotion, you're certainly not aiming at kids if you're looking at a petrol voucher."

The spokeswoman said the offer was a one-off, three-week promotion and McDonald's was not ruling out other offers in the future.

"So it might be that we look at doing another salad-related promotion in the future."

- NZPA

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