Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
24 Jul

Why the Hugo Outrage? These Drinks Are Worse

You may have heard about McDonald’s new supersize drink that they refuse to admit is a supersize drink. Hugo (no relation to Lost) is the latest hypocritical atrocity from the Golden Arches. Guess it didn’t take them long to depart from the “we’re healthier now, honest” marketing of late. The Hugo contains over 400 calories (that’s a meal right there). At 42 ounces, this corn syrup catastrophe is priced at less than one dollar. It’s the special obesity value menu.

Hugo derision is already all over the health and consumer blogs and social networking sites (here, here, here, here, and here…and here). It remains to be seen what sort of impact (if any) the blogosphere will have in garnering public outrage over Hugo. But let’s think about this from a different perspective. Everyone cheered when McDonald’s canned its Supersize menu. Supersize-in-disguise Hugo is drawing plenty of flack.

But why pick on Hugo? The following drinks are:

– just as high, or far higher in calories than Hugo

– are massively popular and are consumed by millions daily

– are equally unhealthy

– are much more expensive – so you can be fat and broke

– and yet…they garner zero public outrage!

It’s too easy to pick on McDonald’s and everyone does. But where is the outrage over:
Starbucks: their much-loved grande frappuccinos and creamy “fruit” whipped delights are almost all in the 500+ calorie range and pack upwards of 80 grams of sugar (easily rivaling any decent milkshake – because these are milkshakes).

Jamba Juice and Robeks: these “healthy” fruit juice smoothies are entirely comprised of worthless, sugary juice, ice cream, sorbet or yogurt, and can top out at over 600 calories and 140 grams of pure sugar!

Even a McDonald’s milkshake has less sugar than a “healthy” smoothie. I don’t see anyone fretting over coffee drinks and fruit drinks that are terrible for health. In fact people seem to feel good about slurping these sugar buckets. We are drinking excessive, empty calories without so much as a second thought.

I’m no advocate of McDonald’s, and the new Hugo is both unethical and hypocritical, but let’s not pretend a coffeehouse with “culture” or a few pictures of strawberries are any better.

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Imagine you’re George Clooney. Take a moment to admire your grooming and wit. Okay, now imagine someone walks up to you and asks, “What’s your name?” You say, “I’m George Clooney.” Or maybe you say, “I’m the Clooninator!” You don’t say “I’m George of George Clooney Sells Movies Blog” and you certainly don’t say, “I’m Clooney Weight Loss Plan”. So while spam is technically meat, it ain’t anywhere near Primal. Please nickname yourself something your friends would call you.

  1. “Hugo” Sounds like the name of a hurricane. Wouldn’t you just love to see on the Mcdonald’s menu, OBESITY VALUE MEAL options. Maybe a little candid camera, but the reactions would be funny.

    Crystal wrote on July 24th, 2007
  2. Ha, I’d like to see that on the menu. Or maybe categories, like “Healthy Section” and “Get Sick and Die” section. and perhaps a “Daily diabetes special”.

    Sara wrote on July 24th, 2007
  3. Speaking of Hugo from lost. He’s one of my favorite characters but if he really wanted to get into his character, he’d lose the weight. The “stranded on a island diet” would work. But, then again Skipper from gilligan’s island never lost any weight and that show was pretty realistic. HeHe.

    Crystal wrote on July 24th, 2007
  4. So why is it really called “Hugo?” Does hugo mean “Huge” in McLatin? If so, then you can’t say McDonald’s didn’t warn us.

    Bradford wrote on July 24th, 2007
  5. It seems the whole country is turning into Texas.
    “More and Bigger” isn’t definitely better.

    Nibbles wrote on July 24th, 2007
  6. Nibbles, couldn’t agree more!

    Sara wrote on July 24th, 2007
  7. I want to take issue with what you say about Jamba Juice and Robeks. While some smoothies like chocolate moo’d at Jamba Juice can carry a lot of calories, both places have smoothies in the 200-300 calorie range. Read a good nutrition book, there are tons out there but most do not get read because they are too in-depth and people just want the fad diet books.

    Also, most smoothies have far fewer than 160 grams of sugar and they are not “pure sugar” even if the label says sugar. There is a BIG differnce betwen the sugar in an apple and the sugar in a Pepsi can. You can read about the differences online. Just wanted to help keep everybody informed!

    Robert wrote on July 24th, 2007
  8. To add to Robert’s comments…

    Jamba Juice does offer a Jamba Light, made with Splenda, and an All Fruit Version (Fruit and Juice), which equates to FIVE servings of Fruit at one time (24 oz size of “Strawberry Whirl” contains 76g Carbs, however); the question remains are these better alternatives than fresh fruit, water, and/or a Protein Smoothie?

    Oxybeles wrote on July 25th, 2007
  9. On a side note….

    Is the Hugo, similar to the family size Yugo, a.k.a. the WEGO?

    Younger readers need not apply.

    Oxybeles wrote on July 25th, 2007
  10. Crystal,
    I’ve been thru every Hurricane In Louisiana except the past 9 years. If they ever have one named HUGO- We better all leave the country till it’s over with…L.O.L. Louisiana does not need Hurricanes bigger than Hurricane Katrina & Hurricane Rita-Those 2 were big enough! Donna

    Donna wrote on July 25th, 2007
  11. It seems that the “direction” these shakes and malteds are heading in is more = better. While in the case of Jamba Juice, things like wheatgrass shots are a nutritional supplement, Their seems to be no additives in this supplement. However, their is sugar and starches added in the shakes.

    Nibbles wrote on July 25th, 2007
  12. Excellent conversation, all. Robert, I appreciate the different perspective. You make a very valid point. In general, however, I agree with Nibbles that “more is more” seems to be the general direction. Just wait for a video we’re posting today on the general trend…oh boy…

    Mark wrote on July 25th, 2007
  13. I have a question. Why would you buy a 42 ounce drink at a store where you can refill you 12 ounce cup as many times as you like?

    I’ll take “diet”.

    Cheapskate wrote on July 29th, 2007

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