Thursday, March 31, 2005

A Balanced Diet

The US government has spent over $1.2 billion in the War on Obesity. Although this is less than it has spent in the War on Terrorism, it is more than it has spent in the War on Empty Political Gestures. After shelling out $1.2 billion, the National Institute of Health has released the final version of the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research. (One wonders how many versions of a plan can be bought with $1.2 billion.) The plan represents ‘a multi-dimensional research agenda to enhance both the development of new research in areas of greatest scientific opportunity and the coordination of obesity research’. Anytime the government does something ‘multi-dimensionally’ it’s a sure thing that multiple contractors are involved. In this critical war, a new government research contractor has stepped forward.

On 28 March, Burger King launched two new breakfast sandwiches: the ‘Western Omelet Croissan’Wich’ and the ‘Enormous Omelet Sandwich’. The former weighs in at a respectable 320 calories and 17 grams of fat. As that’s not very useful for serious obesity research, the new Croissan’Wich will only be on the menu until 8 May. That should be sufficient time to confirm that relatively healthy food is relatively healthy. The Enormous Omelet Sandwich is a longer term offering - multi-dimensional research takes a long time. In the competition to be the government’s prime contractor in evaluating the impact of breakfast on obesity, Burger King outbid rival McDonald’s. BK’s new offering contains 730 calories and 47 grams of fat against a paltry 290 calories and 12 grams of fat for the Egg McMuffin. There’s probably a research lab somewhere under the Golden Arches testing the introduction of cinnamon flavored lard to the breakfast menu as we speak.

Russ Klein, Burger King’s chief global marketing officer, remarked ‘By expanding our indulgent breakfast sandwich menu, Burger King restaurants now offer even more alternatives for our guests who want a convenient and filling breakfast’. A 6 inch bun filled with two fried eggs, fried sausage, three strips of fried bacon and two slices of melted cheese can fairly be termed filling and indulgent. Except in North Korea where it might be termed breakfast for 17. And at a target price of $2.99 the Godzilla omelet is a real value. BK has reduced the price of a gram of fat to about 6 cents. Meanwhile, Lisa Brennerman, a spokeswoman for the company’s Canadian operations said the sandwich will not be available in Canada until 6 June. Perhaps this will allow the Public Health Agency of Canada time to recruit the 50,000 additional heart surgeons.

Burger King has not commented on any plans to compete to become an NIH research partner in the What’s The Effect of an Obscene Lunch study. Hardee’s pretty much has that contract in the bag. At 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat, the Monster Thickburger is clearly the preferred evaluation standard and happily appeals to the ‘decadent younger man’ segment of the market. It is not clear if KFC will consider switching from chicken to ostrich in order to increase the weight of the 18 wing family pack.

Clearly the forces of competition have once again brought out the best in the American business sector. As more people get hooked on Enormous Omelet Sandwiches for breakfast and Monster Thickburgers for lunch, the government’s cost of identifying and evaluating obese Americans will plummet. It will be simple. Just watch the customers who have to walk through the drive-in lane and see how far they get until they drop.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Craig said...

funny. :)

11:28 PM  
Blogger Abby Taylor said...

A fellow blogger at Pursuit of Happiness suggested in a post that if the government can find a way to promote this type of daily diet, the Social Security "crisis" is solved! Wheeee! I'm on my way to Krispy Kreme to do my part for America.

1:05 AM  
Anonymous rohin said...

i'm going to throw up. bk is sick.

1:44 AM  
Blogger Winston said...

I just love how Americans declare war on stuff...LOL

1:26 PM  
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