The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research, has fast-food restaurants in their crosshairs. The organization's latest goal is to draw public attention to the consumption habitants of Washington, D.C. in an effort to curb heart disease-related deaths.
A recent study indicated the district has more fast-food or quick-serve restaurants (specifically McDonalds, Burger King, and KFC) per square mile than other eight cities similar in size.
“Our city’s addiction to Big Macs and other high-fat fast food is literally breaking our hearts," said Susan Levin, nutrition education director for the nonprofit. "It’s time to tackle the district’s heart disease problem head-on. A moratorium on new fast-food restaurants could be a critically important step toward fighting this epidemic.”
Heart disease in the district kills more than 1,500 people every year, and the district has the second highest death rate in the country (when adjusted for age). To combat the cholesterol-fueled chains, the nonprofit organization released a 30-second spot set in a morgue, where an overweight man lies dead on a gurney. The cause of his death rests in his cold, stiff hand. A woman (his wife?) cries in the background. An image of McDonald's golden arches comes to the screen, emblazoned with the tag, "I was lovin' it."
The risks of foods that contain high amounts of fat, cholesterol, and sodium lead to heart disease, and recent research shows that even one of these meals causes increased heart rates and can stiffen arteries. The spot premiered last week during Comedy Central's "Daily Show" and will air in other cities in the coming months.