Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer came under fire for a recently released video in which he recommended a visit to McDonald’s for parents who cannot afford a hot meal for their children. “The standard“ examines the Chancellor’s controversial proposal from a nutritional perspective and sees it as problematic.
It is known that children from lower-income families eat unhealthy food more often and are more likely to struggle with obesity. A 2019 report by the Berlin Robert Koch Institute, which “Der Standard” cites, shows that almost a third of children from families with lower incomes consume sugary drinks every day. In addition, children from this group are three times more likely to have long-term health problems than children from wealthier families.
Chancellor Nehammer recommends the McDonald’s diet
According to Styrian dietitian Julia Maierhofer, reported by “Der Standard”, the burger and fries diet suggested by Nehammer contains too many calories, fat and sugar. Although the smallest version of a McDonald’s menu has 489 calories, it lacks essential vitamins and fiber, which are not only healthy but also filling. Such a diet could lead to an increase in weight and metabolic complications in children, Maierhofer told “Der Standard”.
Long-term health consequences
The consequences of such eating habits can be long-term and serious, particularly in children, as they are at key stages in their development and growth. However, “Der Standard” also emphasizes that healthy eating does not necessarily have to be expensive. Staples such as grain products, potatoes and vegetables could be purchased at affordable prices. For example, a menu consisting of potatoes, spinach and eggs costs less than a McDonald’s burger with fries.
Nehammer in defense mode
In a statement published on X (Twitter), Nehammer defended his statement. “I remain convinced that parents have a duty of care for their children.”