After Olympic officials on high Olympus held a symposium to debate the merits of allowing McDonald's, a notoriously unhealthy food purveyor, to peddle French fries at an event that features absurdly healthy superhumans, McDonald's has been trying to reassure skeptics the world over that its food can be part of a sort of healthy diet. The fast food chain is performing this bit of PR prestidigitation by announcing a new "Favorites Under 400 Calories" menu featuring current menu items that are all, you guessed it, under 400 calories.
Eater's Paula Forbes points out that the Under 400 menu doesn't feature any complete meals under 400 calories — only single items, like the inevitably gross Filet-O-Fish (380 calories) and 1% milk (100 calories). Since it seems pretty clear that the Filet-O-Fish's popularity owes itself entirely to a single overzealous old salt in Maine, and no one is blazing through a McDonald's drive-thru to quench a milk thirst, the menu seems like a lazy attempt to deflect some unwanted criticism on the eve of the summer games. In its effort to show that eating is also sort of a sport, McDonald's is giving away a game piece with each purchase from the Under 400 menu, allowing patrons everywhere to compete online "alongside the Team USA Olympians for a chance to win prizes whenever the USA wins a gold medal in a specified event." So, if you're a team America supporter, it's pretty much your patriotic duty to eat as many Filet-O-Fish sandwiches as is humanly possible, which, unfortunately, is only about one Filet-O-Fish. Maybe two if you pinch your nose, add some marinara sauce, and pretend you're eating chicken parm.