Burger King Causing A Whopper Of A Health Problem In Spain

Here’s something you don’t hear everyday: government officials are trying to force a famous fast food giant to yank a commercial–for health reasons. Spanish authorities are asking Burger King to abandon an ad campaign for its monster XXL burger – the caloric equivalent of eating 10 fried eggs – because it violates a Spanish initiative against obesity.

According to the country’s Health Ministry, the fast food chain has been warned for more than a week that its commercials for the massive burger go against an agreement signed by the Spanish Federation of Hoteliers and Restaurateurs, of which Burger King is a member. Health ministry executives say under the agreement, members of the federation promised they would refrain from promoting huge servings of food. However, an advertisement on Burger King’s Spanish website features a picture of the towering Double-Cheese Bacon XXL with the slogan: “It’s awful being a vegetarian, right?” The site describes the XXL as a Whopper “with two enormous portions of flame-broiled meat that will give you all the energy you need to take the world by storm.”

The picture may look inviting to someone who hasn’t eaten in say… a week, but according to the Spanish Health Ministry, each sandwich has an average of 971 calories- nearly 50 percent of the recommended daily allowance for an active teenager- and 25 grams of saturated fat. The numbers could be even higher if condiments like ketchup and mayonnaise were added to the burgers.

“In this campaign, we are simply promoting a line of burgers that has formed part of our menu in recent years,” Burger King said in a statement. “Our philosophy can be summed up with the motto ‘As you like it,’ in which our customers’ taste trumps all.”

The company added that customers could always choose a salad over a Whopper and have the option to add or remove ingredients as they please. Consequently, Burger King officials said the company had no plans to abandon the campaign.

Do you think Burger King should drop the ads? Personally, I feel if the ads violate an agreement made with the government they should be pulled—based solely on the fact that an agreement was violated.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.