Cheeseburgers Pave Way to Olympic Gold

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Nothing livens up a ho-hum early morning press conference quite like a rude question. And McDonald's Corp.'s morning presser last Wednesday --intended to tout some of the fast feeder's Olympic plans -- certainly qualified as a low-key affair. McDonald's, its marketing executives explained, plans to bring 300 kids from around the world (100 from China) to hang out in the Olympic Village and blog about their adventures. No word yet on how much it will cost, or how it will be promoted, of course.

The Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps upped the excitement quotient by adding that, "It's great to be here with McDonald's in Beijing." Indeed.

But things got a bit more fun when reporter David Sterrett, from Ad Age's mischievous sibling publication, Crain's Chicago Business, asked Phelps just how often he, as a rail-thin, six-time Gold Medalist training to add to his haul of records next year, finds himself dining under the Golden Arches.

"I had McDonald's today for lunch," said Mr. Phelps. "Right now, I'm on a double-cheeseburger kick. I love it." Sensing, perhaps, that downing double cheeseburgers wasn't necessarily the diet of champions, Mr. Phelps switched to the backstroke: "I do get a salad now and then."

Undoubtedly, there's a consumer-advocacy group gearing up with a study to prove that McDonald's-sponsored bloggers, the Olympics and Michael Phelps are directly responsible for childhood obesity.