Another McDonalds Tragedy

I have the greatest sympathy for the family of Charlie Bell, the Chief Executive of McDonalds who died on Sunday of cancer of the colon at the age of 43. That is a tragically young age for a man who should have had a great future. It is all the more saddening because it follows the death from a heart attack of his predecessor, Jim Cantalupo, who died aged 60 last April. It may seem distasteful to mention this, but you can’t help wondering if the premature deaths of these two men are related to their product. In American business circles you often hear companies say that they should "eat their own dogfood". I wonder if that is advice that the senior executives of McDonalds would do better to ignore.

"To lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune… to lose both seems like carelessness." The Importance of Being Ernest, Oscar Wilde

1 thought on “Another McDonalds Tragedy”

  1. Reading more about Charlie Bell’s unfortunate story, he was the first Australian and non American to lead McDonalds. He worked there for 30 of his 44 years!

    Maybe you’re not too far off the mark. A quick Google for colon cancer reveals that one of the major causes is high fat diets:

    Diets high in fat are believed to predispose humans to colorectal cancer. In countries with high colorectal cancer rates, the fat intake by the population is much higher than in countries with low cancer rates. It is believed that the breakdown products of fat metabolism lead to the formation of cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens). Diets high in vegetables, and high-fiber foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals may rid the bowel of these carcinogens and help reduce the risk of cancer. Ref

    Having worked at Maccas myself, it doesn’t help that staff pay between 0 and 50% of the list price for meals while on duty. Financially it makes sense for them to “eat their own dogfood”.

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