In a USA Today interview, McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner prevaricates over the push to tax fatty fast food meals:
I pay attention to legislative activity around revenue generation because I think people are needy and greedy, and they want to put the onus on somebody. It could be an issue. I don’t worry about it. I think people will have common sense and realize that you can’t take one part of the food chain and put an onerous taxation on them because you’re trying to legislate people’s behavior in the interest of raising revenue. It’s wrong-headed. Even our legislators will have enough common sense to figure out that’s not the way to go.
Skinner flatly refuses to acknowledge that McDonald’s core offerings contribute to obesity, while straining the health care system. And then he goes even further, asserting that McDonald’s is acting responsibly to combat obesity:
I like to say that we’ve been part of the solution. We’ve done more around our menu choice and variety for our consumers. It fits into their balanced, active lifestyle, so yes. We have a responsibility to be part of the solution. We sell food…
Take a look at the choice on the Happy Meals for kids: apples and the opportunity for them to have 1% milk. Look at salads, grilled chicken, entrees across the menu that provide a very nutritionally balanced meal. You get it done through choice, not through prescribing behavior or convincing somebody that they should eat a Big Mac, large fry and a Coca-Cola every day. We also work very closely with the health organizations and others, including the first lady and Let’s Move. We’re also the leader in nutritional information.
It’s not my job to get up in the morning and prescribe to people what they eat, but I should give them a choice that makes them feel good about their decision and, more importantly, fits into the appropriate nutritional guidelines for them.