The Real Reason McDonald’s and Coke are Sponsoring the Olympics

London Olympic Park McDonalds

World's Largest McDonald's, conveniently located at the London Olympic Village

McDonald’s and Coca Cola each spent $100M to become sponsors of the Olympics. That’s a lot of dough, both for the International Olympic Committee to receive, and for the brands to spend. The executives at the junk food companies must have a very good reason to associate their nutrition-sucking-fare with the Olympics, international athletes, and the spirit of global camaraderie.

By associating themselves with sports events, Coca Cola and McDonald’s are trying to convince us that the underlying reason for the worldwide obesity epidemic is lack of physical activity. The stark reality is that too many calories, most of them from nutrient poor foods, are the culprit.

Sure, McDonald’s is  touting its menu refresh, and various stats to prove its food is nutritious. This is just smoke and mirrors. The big money that McDonald’s makes still comes from greasy burgers, large fries, and soda pop. And Coca Cola, in its logos and ads in conjunction with the Olympics, is promoting its iconic Coke brand, not healthy beverages.

Shame on the Olympic Committee for accepting this money. Shame on the Olympic Committee for taking the easy route and not standing up for what we all know is right.

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  • courtney from onetimes100.com

    i couldn’t agree more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1223231170 Lisa Bakos Lewis

    I agree with you, but what’s the alternative? They need money to run the games. It’s not only the Olympic Committee who’s guilty here, but let’s work on some alternatives instead of always playing the blame game. IMHO, society at large needs to get their priorities in order, so that sporting events like the Olympics have financial options other than taking money from huge junk-food conglomerates.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      The Olympic Organization has plenty of money in its coffers.

  • Mike Benninger

    The fact the IOC led by a guy named Rogue (sic) is more than comical, they are corrupt money grubbIng whores, selling their votes to the highest bribes. I’ll not be watching any of it…

  • PrincessDianne

    You’ve got a good point. I’m sure the athletes aren’t loading up on Big Macs and fries to fuel up before competing! I’m tagged with that ever so loving label “MORBIDLY obese”. I weighed in at my top weight of 381 pounds last December. I finally had enough. On December 15th, I refused to be a sheep and put myself on another fad diet or follow someone else’s plan. I decided to take my own steps. I gave up sugar and fast food first. Ten days later, I gave up diet soda. It is now 6 months later and I’ve lost 45 pounds solely on dietary changes. I have not worked out consistently yet. (As much as I would like to, I just haven’t been able to go from Twinkie slamming couch potato to 5K running salad eater as perfect as I would like.)

    I’ll tell you one thing: about 4 months after I gave up all the cruddy food, I bought a happy meal during a desperate situation. I took one bite and it was the most dry, awful tasting thing ever. Even the fries tasted nasty. I ended up tossing it back in the bag and throwing it on the floor of my car…and I have never looked at any fast food place again without feeling a little gag start in my throat.

    45 pounds in 6 months…on dietary changes alone. I’m about to begin making exercise as much of a healthy habit as my new eating habits. I have 181 more pounds to lose. You can’t tell by looking at me, but I am a no sugar, no fast food, snack cake shunning machine. :-)

    You can watch my progress at http://www.hotmessprincess.com

    My absolute heartfelt best wishes to anyone making healthy changes in their lives…and a big thank you to Fooducate. I love you blog, I love your app. You help light my way down this path. :-)

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Hey Princess Dianne, thanks for sharing your story. You go girl!!!
      Please don’t misinterpret what we wrote to mean you should not exercise. Definitely try to to work up a workout regimen that fits your current situation. And see a nutrition professional to help you improve your diet even more.
      Please keep us posted on your progress…

      • PrincessDianne

        OMG, I totally didn’t think that at all! LOL. I was just trying to show that when you change the quality of the food you’re eating, you can make great changes in that alone. :-) I promise I’m not trying to do this without working out. LOL. Thanks for your support!

    • Joecaca

      good for you!! I am currently going down the same path as you. 30 down….75 to go. Keep up the good work!!

      • Violet

        Good for you, too!

    • Violet

      Good for you, PrincessDianne! One thing I know from having spent some time obese myself: People who look overweight don’t need any more diet advice than they’ve already received in this lifetime (especially not of the eat less/exercise more variety) — so I have none of that to force upon you. Instead, I’ll just repeat: Good for you! And … isn’t it odd how your tastebuds and sense of smell change when you start eating more fresh foods? For me, that was the first and BEST thing about kicking the icky-diet-food habit. Good food tastes so much better now. What a joy!

  • RS

    McDonald’s is not to blame for the America’s obesity problem. What happened to personal responsibility?

    • George Babbitt

      Spoons made me fat, I don’t know about you ;D

  • Noel Mathur

    Shame on Olympic committee for many reasons, even DOW chemicals who sponsored a part is responsible for killing thousands in Indian city of Bhopal (if not them directly, the company that they took over). When you ask clarification from the committee you get something similar to what US olympic association gave for dresses made in in china, shame, shame (and so I don’t watch Olympics at all)

  • http://twitter.com/koderken koderken

    Well, this is true, isn’t it? You can take in more calories when you are highly active without gaining fat. This is how Michael Phelps can eat 12,000 calories a day while training, and I, a non-athlete, cannot. It is also one of the main rationales behind First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” program for children. Your inexplicable hatred of these two American corporations is making you sound foolish. Unless and until YOU are prepared to donate $100 million to the cause to allow the games to go forward, you need to sit down and shut up about the sponsors.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      We don’t hate McDonald’s, but we are all paying for McDonald’s to have so much money. This, through our taxes that go to subsidies for corn and soy that end up as cheap feed for 99 cent burgers and high fructose corn syrup that make gallon soft drinks cost less than a piece of fresh fruit.
      The Olympic committee can easily find other sources of revenue.

      • Violet

        What you say here is true of all prepared/processed foods in the USA.

      • hugo

        can they really easily find $200,000,000 to replace that? Why didn’t they then? Why aren’t there 4 sponsors who donated that much? In this economy? It’s always easy to blame others for our own personal choices.

        • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

          They can.
          Ask them.
          Personal choices can be aided by a supportive environment. But when a happy meal is cheaper than a fresh apple…

          • PrincessDianne

            Personal accountability is the #1 weapon in fighting obesity…trust me, I know! I’m lucky enough to be able to afford healthy food. I believe more needs to be done to make healthy food affordable to lower income families. McDonald’s is a cheap treat, especially when kids are subjected to the marketing machine. It’s not like lower income/single moms on a budget are out there making healthy treats they found on Pinterest. They worry about keeping the electricity on, for goodness’ sake.
            So yeah, for people like me who have the ability to buy healthy…great. For lower income folks, it’s not quite so black and white. By the time rent & utilities are paid, school clothes and supplies are bought, there’s a real challenge getting heatlhy food on the table…and forget about paying for soccer practice, etc. (oops! meant to reply to Hugo…LOL)

  • http://twitter.com/MeehanFitness Meehan Fitness

    I get confused seeing athletes in commercials for soft drinks and fast food too. It’s a shame that endorsement money outweighs reason.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Philippe-Boucher/585203593 Philippe Boucher

    I cannot imagine they could not have found other corporate sponsors. That’s what happened when F1 had to dump tobacco sponsors. But Coke has been a sponsor forever and it’s just easier to keep business as usual. If they get enough negative feedback they’ll have to change.

  • Pingback: Weight Loss: It's About Food, Not Exercise, Say 2 New Studies |

  • http://twitter.com/fastway2losew8 Mary Osborne

    I doubt the Olympic committee care at all about what people think; for them its all about the money! The more cash they can get in their bag the better! Shame on them indeed!

  • Rachel

    What’s so bad about Coke and McDonalds? Look we all know that not everything they offer is healthy but should we punish them for it? I don’t think so. Yes nutrient poor foods are a problem but so is lack of physical activity, America is a generally lazy country. If McDonalds is making you fat stop eating it. The point is that McDonalds and Coke are just like everything else, if you have it in moderation its fine. Don’t knock the Olympics for being supported by these companies because over weight people say that the companies make them fat, that’s just ignorant. I’m very over weight but I’m not gonna blame what I eat because it was my choice to eat it in the first place. I’m certain that the athletes eat McDonalds and Drink Coke products sometimes, the key word is sometimes. These companies are doing a great honor donating money to such a prestigious event we should be proud of these American companies and not condemn them for no reason.

    • http://www.fooducate.com/blog Fooducate

      Oh dear, where to begin…
      1. Exercise is not the solution to weight problems. See our blog post from yesterday – http://blog.fooducate.com/2012/08/01/weight-loss-its-about-food-not-exercise-say-2-new-studies/
      2. Moderation is not in line with these companies’ objectives. They have to sell more and more each quarter to make Wall Street happy. Moe sales = more calories = more weight gain for you and us and America.
      3. When companies have so much money, they spend it on advertising and sponsorships so we think they are doing society good. The truth is it just part of their markting budget to get us to buy more empty calories from them. Each dollar spent on sponsorships is measured vs the bottom line it contributed to the company’s revenue.
      There is no honor in causing people to be overweight and sick through unhealthy products and overly aggressive marketing tactics. Is there any honor in being Marlboro?

      • Rachel

        1. Exercise is not a solution but neither is just eating healthy, It twakes a good combination of the two to get good results (I know from experience)
        2. I never said the companies want us to have their product in moderation, we need to have self control and moderate what we eat.
        3. They do not cause people to be over weight and sick, people do that to themselves. I’ve said it before and I will say it again if i choose to over eat a certain type of food I’m not gonna blame the food for me being over weight or unhealthy.
        The same way I wouldn’t be stupid enough to say cigarettes gave me cancer. Hell yeah it caused it but it was my fault in the first place for smoking them.

  • You can’t Ignore Logic

    What’s so bad about Coke and McDonalds? Look we all know that not
    everything they offer is healthy but should we punish them for it? I
    don’t think so. Yes nutrient poor foods are a problem but so is lack of
    physical activity, America is a generally lazy country. If McDonalds is
    making you fat stop eating it. The point is that McDonalds and Coke are
    just like everything else, if you have it in moderation its fine. Don’t
    knock the Olympics for being supported by these companies because over
    weight people say that the companies make them fat, that’s just ignorant. I’m very over weight but I’m not gonna blame what I eat because it was my choice to eat it in the first place.
    I’m certain that the athletes eat McDonalds and Drink Coke products
    sometimes, the key word is sometimes. These companies are doing a great
    honor donating money to such a prestigious event we should be proud of
    these American companies and not condemn them for no reason.

    • Me

      My apologies it seemed as though this was deleted, the way my computer displayed it please ignore this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/denise.louden Denise Gemme Louden

    We did the same thing. After we stopped drinking soda pop, everyone in my family lost ten pounds. Once we stopped buying ice cream and cookies, another ten. Amazing.