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Health concerns over Olympic McDonald's

Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan and the UK Shadow Minister for Public Health have both criticised the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics for all...

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|Jul 25|magazine7 min read

Olympic silver medallist Amir Khan and the UK Shadow Minister for Public Health have both criticised the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics for allowing the biggest McDonalds’s restaurant in the world to be built in the Olympic Park.

The restaurant will occupy over 30,000 square feet and seat up to 1,500 customers at a time. McDonald’s expects to sell 1.75 million meals during the month in which the Games occur.

Khan, who won a silver medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004, criticised the move for forging a connection between unhealthy food and sporting prowess.

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“It is clearly sending the wrong signal to kids and young people,” he said. “If we want them to be healthy and educate them to eat healthily, we need to think about approaching them in a different way, especially around sport.

“The Olympics are a great opportunity to show young people what types of food they need in different aspects of their lives. I think this is a “Plonking the world’s biggest McDonalds in the middle of the Olympics site, with the eyes of the entire world on Britain, gives out completely the wrong message,” she said. “I am calling on the government to review its relationship with the manufacturers and retailers that are damaging our children’s health.”

A study conducted by researchers at Stanford University found that children as young as three years old responded more positively to food in McDonald’s packaging compared to the same food enclosed in plain bags.

A spokesman for the Games defended the decision, stating: “McDonald’s is a long-term Olympic sponsor of the Olympic movement and has been an Olympic partner for many years, but we will make sure that a wide variety of food is available in the Olympic Park.”