McDonald’s has long been blamed for its part in contributing to a serious obesity epidemic. Documentaries such as the infamous 2004 Super Size Me! directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock have turned the public’s attention to supposedly underhanded tactics the company has used over the years in order to win a constant stream of visitors looking to indulge in its Big Mac, fries and other unhealthy, yet delicious, menu options.
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine published Childhood Lost: How the Happy Meal Can Lead to Diabetes, Obesity, and Hypertension, a piece which states “Happy Meals are marketed as explicitly for children, and then children are rewarded with toys for consuming the high amounts of fat and sodium,” adding further, “Offering toys and books in exchange for purchasing and consuming a high-fat, sodium-laden meal is a potentially dangerous tactic that could further the current health crisis facing children in the U.S.”
The fast food chain has indeed been the center of much controversy surrounding how and why obesity rates are climbing, which according to the National Institutes of Health, is extremely serious. Obesity the second leading cause of preventable death in the United States. However, when it really comes down to it, one has a choice to forgo the grease for healthier alternatives. All the marketing tactics in the world do not trump freedom of choice when it comes to selecting meal options. If one suffers from a serious underlying medical or health-related concern, ensuring these issues are properly addressed can sometimes be as simple as avoiding counterproductive food.
But, apparently, not everyone sees it this way. “McDonald’s must be destroyed” was evidently racing through the mind of 45-year-old Florida resident Catherine Ellen Johnson when she decided to veer her vehicle off the highway and spontaneously ram into the infamous yellow arches of a McDonald’s sign. At around 4 p.m. on July 13th, the Lady Lake police department’s phone started ringing off the hook with reports of a red SUV driving “crazy through the parking lot” of the fast food franchise off of U.S. Hwy 27/441, according to the arrest report.
When an officer arrived at the scene and attempted to approach Johnson, she was “immediately argumentative” and indicated she drove across the median and “purposely drove into the sign in front of McDonald’s.” The damage she caused was estimated at approximately $15,000. The officer questioned Johnson as to why she chose to take a detour and she answered matter-of-factly she didn’t like McDonald’s. She also said she “drove into the sign intentionally due to her brother dying,” according to the report.
Johnson was immediately arrested. However, handcuffed and placed in the back of the patrol car, she was not ready to give up the fight. She was able to remove one of the metal cuffs, breaking a hand free momentarily in an attempt to escape.
Luckily, the officer noticed and was able to re-secure her, but not before she kicked him in the right thigh. Johnson was booked at the Lake County Jail on charges of criminal mischief and battery on a law enforcement officer. She was released after posting $7,000 bond. Motorists and McDonald’s lovers beware.