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The Physicians Committee





Blocked Pipes? Check for a Big Mac Blockage
May 13, 2013

Pipes and arteries have one definite thing in common: They don’t work right when they’re stopped up. In Dorval, a municipality in Montreal, officials discovered that the local McDonald’s was discharging grease into the sewers. The sewers became clogged and Dorval jumped into action, hiring a contractor to fix the damage. They also filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s for the cleanup costs. Blocked sewers are a serious problem, but so are clogged arteries.

McDonald’s was the most-visited business in March in the United States. Nearly half of Americans bought something from under those golden arches. And nearly half of Americans ingested the same type of grease that congested Dorval’s sewers.

The saturated fat and cholesterol in many McDonald’s products can lead to heart disease, filling arteries with a hard white plaque and inhibiting the flow of blood. Sometimes fast-food customers need to find their own “contractor” to come in and fix the damage with bypass surgery. The cleanup costs are paid initially by insurance companies, with consumers footing the bill through raised rates and premiums.

Even though fast food is easy, cheap, and everywhere, we’re ultimately responsible for what we put down our tubes. There is no legal recourse for getting McDonald’s to reimburse patients for the arteries clogged by their Big Macs and Egg McMuffins. (And fast food doesn’t only affect hearts—the low-fiber content of most McDonald’s meals can result in other blocked plumbing, digestively speaking.)

You can bet that Dorval won’t let anymore grease into their sewers, and neither should we.
 


     

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