I'm particularly interested in nutrition so I just read the nutrition section of the judgement. I then had a look at the factsheet and I don't really understand the judgement on this issue.
The factsheet said (I copied this over from on your site):
"What's so unhealthy about McDonald's food?"
"McDONALD's try to show in their "Nutrition Guide" (which is full of impressive-looking but really quite irrelevant facts & figures) that mass-produced hamburgers, chips, colas, milkshakes, etc., are a useful and nutritious part of any diet."
"What they don't make clear is that a diet high in fat, sugar, animal products and salt (sodium), and low in fibre, vitamins and minerals - which describes an average McDonald's meal - is linked with cancers of the breast and bowel, and heart disease. This is accepted medical fact, not a cranky theory. Every year in Britain, heart disease alone causes about 180,000 deaths."
The judgement says (also copied over):
"At the material time of publication of the leaflet between September 1987, and September 1990, McDonald's food was high in fat (including saturated fat) and salt (sodium) and animal products and it has continued to be so. It was low in fibre at the material time of publication of the leaflet, but it has not been proved to be so now. It has not been shown that McDonald's food generally is high in sugar, although some individual times are. It has not been shown that McDonald's food is low in vitamins or minerals. "
"In my judgment a diet high in fat (including saturated fat) and animal products, and low in fibre, sustained over very many years, probably does lead to a very real risk of heart disease in due course."
"It does mean, in my judgment, that the small proportion of McDonald's customers who eat McDonald's food several times a week will take the very real risk of heart disease if they continue to do so throughout their lives, encouraged by the Plaintiffs' advertising."
"It has not been proved, on balance of probabilities, that a diet high in fat, including saturated fat, and animal products, and low in fibre, even if sustained over very many years, leads to a very real risk of cancer of the breast in due course, although it is possible that it increases the risk to some extent."
"It has not been proved, on balance of probabilities, that a diet high in fat, including saturated fat, and animal products, and low in fibre, even if sustained over very many years, leads to a very real risk of cancer of the bowel in due course, although it is strongly possible that it increases the risk to some extent."
"It follows that McDonald's food is not very unhealthy as stated in the leaflet.
However, I do find that various of the First and Second Plaintiffs' advertisements, promotions and booklets have pretended to a positive nutritional benefit which McDonald's food, high in fat and saturated fat and animal products and sodium, and at one time low in fibre, did not match."
If the judge thinks that McDonald's advertising of their food as nutritious is deceptive because the food is high in fat and low in fibre, and he thinks that a high fat low fibre diet leads to an increased risk of heart disease, then haven't the defendants basically proven what was written in the leaflet? i.e. that the company shouldn't promote its food as nutritious and useful because in reality it's pretty unhealthy.
OK so the judge only said cancer was possible risk, but if anyone was worried about cancer they'd also be worried about heart disease as well, so they wouldn't want to eat the food. (I also think the judge is wrong about cancer anyway, otherwise why does our government urge people to eat less fat and more fibre to try to cut down cancer incidence?)
How come the verdict went in McDonald's favour?