Custom Search 1

Should fast food giants sponsor the Olympics?

SPONSOR: A McDonald's restaurant in the Olympic park

Each week we ask two writers with contrasting opinions to answer the question...


JENNER COLE
NO

McDonalds is the official restaurant of the Games. This is ludicrous; there aren’t many restaurants in the country that supply food with such a high amount of sugar, saturated fat and calories, yet a low amount of nutrients.

A Cheeseburger Happy Meal contains about 570 calories, 23 grams of fat and 19 grams of sugar; that’s over half the amount of sugar found in a bag of skittles. I think it’s very hypocritical that the Olympics offer such unhealthy food officially, scale to sports fans. The two factors just don’t correlate.

Take into consideration the drastically rising levels of obesity in this country: England is the fattest country in Europe. On top of this, it is predicted that by 2020, 1/3 of our population will be obese. Having the likes of McDonalds and Coca Cola at the forefront of the Olympics will only make the situation worse. There are approximately 1,200 McDonald’s restaurants in England alone. As the official restaurant of the Olympics, McDonalds was able to build its biggest English restaurant in the Olympic park. What kind of message does this send to our citizens? We have seen what the ‘fast food culture’ has done to the States, yet we are following suit. We are just encouraging drastic fast food monopolisation at a time when we should be taking healthier options.

The argument has always been that without these big corporates the Olympics would not be able to be as successful as they are. There are two issues with this statement:

Firstly, isn’t it wrong to judge the success of the Olympics solely on how grand the event is? Surely it is better to have a smaller event which promotes positive ideals to set an example for younger generations on a range of levels, from healthy living and aspiring to achieve great things to understanding that correct principles shouldn’t be put to one side over money.

Secondly, there are companies, which may not supply the same amount of money, but are wealthy and would benefit from the publicity as well as supplying food and funding such as Dole.

It is a shame that the Olympics have become primarily about the generation of money. Removing fast food companies from sponsoring the Olympics would be a step in the right direction.

.............................................................................................................


RIAZ JAY
YES

Without corporate sponsorship money the Olympics would not be the greatest sporting spectacle on the planet! But there is a lot more to being a sponsor than having your products and brand splashed around the venues.

For example, they invest money by supporting grass root community projects that help people from all backgrounds which gives them the opportunity to get involved with sports in their community; this opens the path to pursuing a career as an athlete. After all, everybody has to start somewhere and at least these corporations are playing a part in developing athletes for the future. Coca Cola’s partnership with the charity Street Games will support more than 110,000 young people who will create the next generation of coaches.

The recession has led to local councils closing community and activity centres for young people, particularly in deprived areas. As reported in last year’s riots, many rioted because they had “nothing to do and nowhere to go.” If our own government won’t fix these problems, surely these corporations need to be given credit where it’s due. At least they’re doing something for positive change in people’s lives.

Think about how BIG the process of making the games run smoothly will be. Think about the things we DON’T see behind the scenes. Sponsors share their expertise in delivering the world’s biggest catering operation for our viewing pleasure and for the comfort of the people directly involved, from athlete to the ‘game makers’.

If it were other sponsors such as massive computer companies, they’d be an argument that computing has led to kids not socialising and sitting at home getting fat with no exercise. Typically, I think we’re just looking for something to moan about. No one is forcing you to eat McDonalds or drink Coke. If you know it’s bad for you, don’t consume it or just be sensible and consume it in moderation.

THE 'HEAD TO HEAD''COLUMN IS BY THE LONDON 360 REPORTERS
 To find out more about what our reporters are up to go to www.communitychannel.org/london360
-WE ARE LONDON!

Facebook Comments