AICR Applauds Elimination of Super Sizes

American Institute for Cancer Research
Thursday, 4 March 2004

STATEMENT BY KELLY BROWNING, EXECUTIVE VICE-PRESIDENT, AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR CANCER RESEARCH (AICR)

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) congratulates the McDonald's Corporation for taking a necessary, overdue, but no less bold step in combating America's obesity epidemic. In announcing that it will eliminate "Super Sizes" by the year's end, McDonald's has recognized that U.S. portion sizes have gotten out of control something health experts at AICR have been saying since 1999.

Concerned about rising obesity rates and mounting research showing a clear link between obesity and increased cancer risk the health experts at AICR have long campaigned against oversized restaurant portions in general and the practice of "value marketing" in particular.

Via surveys, brochures, press releases, media events, and health aids, AICR has worked to raise awareness about the issue of portion size, to track its specific role in overweight and obesity, and to show Americans how they can take back control of their personal portions.

It was an AICR survey that discovered that 69 percent of Americans say they finish their entrees all or most of the time, regardless of the size. Even more distressingly, another AICR survey found that 78 percent believe the kind of food they eat is more important for losing weight than the sheer amount of food they eat.

One reason AICR launched its hugely successful New American Plate educational campaign was to refocus attention on the real issue underlying obesity and overweight the fact that Americans have lost their ability to gauge portion sizes.

AICR's efforts on portion size, including its leadership role in developing an influential report that attacked the practice of Supersizing itself, have been compiled at www.aicr.org/obesity.

We applaud McDonald's for taking a stand that will certainly have a beneficial impact on public awareness and, quite possibly, public health. The rest of the fast-food industry tends to follow McDonald's example, but usually after waiting to see how it affects profits. We at AICR think this latest move is exactly what America wants, and so are confident that it will prove as good for their bottom lines as it is for our waistlines.

For more information, or to contact American Institute for Cancer Research, see their website at: www.aicr.org

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