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Posted at 1:58 PM ET, 12/28/2010

What's good for McDonald's is not necessarily good for America

By Ezra Klein

Bad economies, it seems, are good for fast food:

This study utilizes information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (1990-2007) to explore the relationship between the risk of unemployment and the consumption of various healthy and unhealthy foods. Estimates, based on fixed effects methodologies, indicate that a higher risk of unemployment is associated with reduced consumption of fruits and vegetables and increased consumption of “unhealthy” foods such as snacks and fast food...Among individuals predicted to be at highest risk of being unemployed, a one percentage point increase in the resident state’s unemployment rate is associated with a 2-8% reduction in the consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Another way to look at this is to compare the McDonald's Corp.'s stock to the S&P 500. There are surely a lot of reasons that McDonald's did so well even as the economy did so badly, but one is undoubtedly that the recession increased demand for its product:

mcdsvssandp.png

By Ezra Klein  | December 28, 2010; 1:58 PM ET
 
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Next: Putting the stimulus bill in perspective

Comments


Any democrat who wants Obama re-elected is IRRESPONSIBLE with this nation


It is horrifying how anyone could abuse their right to vote in such a way


Obama has done virtually nothing for the economy and he has stated that his agenda is more important to him than taking care of JOBS


So one must wonder


One must wonder what these people are thinking and why they want to force an incompetent person on their fellow citizens


First, the democrats should be ALL REGISTERED

Then ALL democrats should get MONTHLY BILLS for Obama's debts - including their children - until Obama's debts are paid off.


I AM NOT PAYING FOR OBAMA'S DEFICITS


DEMOCRATS YOU PAY


IF YOU VOTE FOR OBAMA, pay his debts


LEAVE THE REST OF US OUT OF IT


DON'T EXPECT TO VOTE FOR OBAMA AND HAVE SOMEONE ELSE PAY THE BILL

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 28, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Why do you assume fast food is better than what people eat at home? The real villain is not hamburger, it is soda.

That study is so full of assumptions it is nearly unreadable. It also clearly says in there that people who are employed consumed more snacks, in contradiction of the abstract.

Posted by: staticvars | December 28, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Hey Ezra, fruit & veggies are quite expensive. That could be the simple (and elegant) explanation for some very complex research.

Posted by: mariposarojo | December 28, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

staticvars,

they're both villians. Oh and McDonald's sells sodas too. You know the big 32+ ounce ones.

I'd like to also see a corresponding graph with the obesity rates included.

Posted by: visionbrkr | December 28, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"Hey Ezra, fruit & veggies are quite expensive. That could be the simple (and elegant) explanation for some very complex research."

That's a nice, massive myth in a lot of areas of the country.

I can drive 5 minutes to produce junction and buy fruits at about $.50 a pound, maximum.

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 28, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Check the "123 Get Samples" to find out where you can get the newest free samples. Every day you'll find out how to get the best free samples sent straight to your mailbox.

Posted by: mariabrake29 | December 29, 2010 5:39 AM | Report abuse

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