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London Assembly trying to ban McDonald's, Coca-Cola from 2012 Olympics

Saturday, July 21, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: Olympics, McDonalds, Coca-Cola

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(NaturalNews) As fast food giant McDonald's gets ready to open its largest restaurant in the world at Olympic Park in London (http://www.huffingtonpost.com), the London Assembly, an elected government body that holds the London Mayor accountable to his promises, has voted in favor of calling for an official ban on both McDonald's and Coca-Cola from the 2012 Olympic Games.

Because many of the products offered by both McDonald's and Coca-Cola are filled with processed sugar, artificial chemicals, and unhealthy fats, and are linked to causing childhood obesity and other illnesses, the London Assembly believes the International Olympic Committee has a responsibility to nix these companies from sponsoring the Games. Hosting a lineup of the world's most talented athletes while peddling junk food to the masses, in other words, is a hypocritical position to take, according to the Assembly.

"London won the right to host the 2012 Games with the promise to deliver a legacy of more active, healthier children across the world," said Jenny Jones, the London Assembly member who initially proposed the motion to ban the two food giants from participating in the Games. "Yet the same International Olympic Committee (IOC) that awarded the Games to London persists in maintaining sponsorship deals with the purveyors of high calorie junk that contribute to the threat of an obesity epidemic."

Jones' proposal makes plenty of logical sense. But the biggest problem with it; however, is that McDonald's and Coca-Cola happen to be two of the largest sponsors of the Olympic Games -- and they have been involved with the Olympic Games for quite some time. Without McDonald's and Coca-Cola, the Olympic Games would be in some serious financial trouble, which says a lot about the absurd amount of influence these corporations and many others have over the world's institutions.

McDonald's, Coca-Cola have long been top-tier Olympic Games sponsors

According to the Huffington Post, Coca-Cola is the Olympic Games' longest-running sponsor, having contributed to its perpetuity since 1928. McDonald's has a long legacy with the Olympic Games as well, having contributed large sums of sponsorship dollars since the mid-1970s. As contradictory as this truly is, two of the world's largest junk food purveyors play a major role in maintaining the existence of the world's largest demonstration of athleticism and vibrant physical health.

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges (AMRC) seems to agree that the partnership between the Olympic Games and both McDonald's and Coca-Cola is disconcerting, as this particular group continues to be one of the most outspoken critics of IOC's conflicting alliance with McDonald's and Coca-Cola. According to AMRC, allowing these two fast food companies to be the official face of food at the Olympic Games "sends out the wrong message (to children)."

In defense of their presence at the Games, both Coca-Cola and McDonald's have tried to highlight their many "healthy" food and drink offerings while reiterating the importance of individuals making their own food choices without resorting to censorship. But the latter recommendation will be somewhat difficult for attendees of the Games to follow; however, both McDonald's and Coca-Cola have reportedly been given exclusive rights to sell their food and beverage offerings at the Games.

As far as Olympic athletes are concerned, many will not be partaking in the junk food fest, according to Marco Cardinale, Head of Sports Science and Research of the British Olympic Association. During a recent interview with Telegraph Sport, Cardinale said he would be "very surprised" if any Olympic athletes decided to feast on a McDonald's hamburger and a Coke during the Games, despite both companies' insinuations in advertising campaigns that they would be "feeding" the Games, including its athletes. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk)

Meanwhile, the IOC seems unfazed by all the controversy, and has no immediate or apparent plans to ditch either McDonald's or Coca-Cola. So you can expect to see plenty of tantalizing images filled with "refreshing" Coca-Cola sodas and McDonald's Big Macs featured on your television screens during the Games. And as intended, this propaganda campaign will give millions, if not billions, of children the false impression that eating these foods will help them one day become strong Olympic athletes.

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