Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Anti-McDonald's ad angers fast food chain

Since there is NO evidence that McDonald's food leads to increased illness or earlier death, they could well sue these extremist creeps -- but that would just give them more publicity

IN a television advert that could kill your appetite, an overweight, middle-aged man is seen lying dead in a morgue holding a half-eaten hamburger as a woman weeps over the linen-clad body.

McDonald's ubiquitous golden arches then trace the dead man's feet with the text "I was lovin' it," a stinging pun on the fast-food chain's long-running slogan "I'm lovin' it." A voiceover says, "high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart attacks. Tonight, make it vegetarian."

Produced by Washington-based health lobby Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), the commercial is set to be aired in Washington DC during the popular The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Thursday.

PCRM says it is also considering running it in Chicago, Detroit, Houston and Los Angeles. The ad "takes aim at McDonald's high-fat menu, with the goal of drawing Washingtonians' attention to the city's high rates of heart disease deaths and its high density of fast-food restaurants," PCRM said.

Studies show that people who consume fast food are at a higher risk for obesity, a factor contributing to heart disease, it said.

But the ad enraged McDonald's. "This commercial is outrageous, misleading and unfair to all consumers. McDonald's trusts our customers to put such outlandish propaganda in perspective, and to make food and lifestyle choices that are right for them," spokeswoman Bridget Coffing said.

PCRM said its survey showed that Washington has more McDonald's, Burger King, and KFC outlets per square mile than eight other cities with similar population sizes.

McDonald's, the world's largest restaurant chain, has nevertheless seen its earnings grow in recent months despite the global economic crunch, as it has wheeled out a range of alternatives to its famous burgers. On Friday, the chain reported its same-store sales for August were up 4.9 per cent globally year-on-year.


Shoot 'em up games improve decision-making

PLAYING shoot 'em up games can make you a better driver and stop you getting lost, scientists claim. They say fast-paced action games produce a heightened sensitivity, which can also improve multitasking, following a friend in a crowd or even reading the small print.

Their study, published in the journal Current Biology, looks set to delight avid gamers who are often told the games do little except provoke violence.

Researchers at New York's University of Rochester took a group of 18 to 25-year-old non game players and split them into two groups. Half played 50 hours of shooting games such as Call Of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament and the other half played 50 hours of slow-moving strategy game The Sims 2. They were then given various tests, such as deciding whether a group of dots on a screen was moving right or left.

The research team found the first group was 25 per cent better at decision-making.

Daphne Bavelier, who co-wrote the study, said: "It's not the case that the action game players are trigger-happy and less accurate — they are just as accurate and also faster. "Action game players make more correct decisions per unit time. If you are a surgeon or you are in the middle of a battlefield — that can make all the difference."

She said that people made decisions based on probabilities they were constantly calculating and refining in their heads in a process known as probabilistic inference. The brain accumulates small pieces of visual or auditory information, eventually gathering enough data to help make a decision on what to do.

While shoot 'em ups are not generally considered mind-enhancing, the players need to make quick and accurate decisions based on what is going on around them.

But Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, told Sky News the study could send out the wrong message about violent games. "I don't dispute the findings, it is going to improve your reactions if you click something enough, of course it is," she said.

"But I'm not just talking about mental reactions — these games dehumanise violence. "There have been other studies that link them to violence and you could get the same reactions from a driving game."


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