Today, May 11, is National Eat What You Want Day! While most of us don’t really need an excuse to eat whatever we want, today’s the day where we don’t have to feel guilty about getting a Big Mac or going to Waffle House. Sure, it’s not healthy, but it’s what you wanted to eat!
The holiday is a trending topic on Twitter and was even mentioned on the Today Show in 2015, when Tamron Hall ate a hamburger on the set.
Here’s what you need to know about National Eat What You Want Day.
1. There’s A Way to Get a Free Big Mac Today Through the Postmates App
There is a big deal available to whoever wants to celebrate the holiday with a Big Mac from McDonald’s. As WTKR notes, Postmates is offering a deal where you can get one for free.
Just click here and enter your phone number to see if Postmates can deliver food right to your door in your area.
The app serves cities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. It’s also available in Washington, D.C.
The start-up is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2011. As Quartz points out, the company recently made a big push in New York with provocative subway ads.
2. The Holiday Was Invented by Thomas & Ruth Roy
According to Days Of The Year, the holiday was created by Thomas and Ruth Roy. The couple ran a website called “wellcat.com,” which no longer exists. It looks like their holiday has outlasted their website.
While the goal of the holiday is to promote eating the junk food you really should avoid, there’s nothing that says you can’t eat healthy today. After all, it’s right in the name of the holiday. You get to eat what you want, even if that’s just fruits and vegetables.
3. McDonald’s Has Seen Sales Grow Thanks to All-Day Breakfast & New Big Macs
While Americans have tried eating healthier, fast food chain sales are not slowing down. In fact, McDonald’s sales have only gone up recently, thanks to All-Day Breakfast, new Big Macs and other deals.
In April 2017, the chain reported that sales in 2016 grew 1.7 percent over the previous year, reports USA Today. Globally, sales climbed 4 percent. McDonald’s posted a revenue of $5.68 billion for the previosu quarter, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence estimate.
“Today, we’re running better restaurants. We’re keenly focused on operations excellence and the fundamentals of quality, service, cleanliness and value and it’s making a difference for customers,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook told investors. “The greatest opportunities are at the core of our business and we’re continuing to gain momentum as we build a better McDonald’s.”
In addition to the All-Day Breakfast, McDonald’s has added the “Grand Mac” and the “Mac Jr.” to its menus. The discount on soft drinks to $1 and coffee drinks to $2 also helped.
“Our efforts to build a better McDonald’s are yielding meaningful results with continued positive momentum and a strong start to 2017 that includes positive comparable sales across all segments, higher global guest counts and enhanced profitability,” Easterbrook told CNBC.
4. A 2016 NPR Study Found That 75% of Americans Think They Eat Healthy, but 36% of U.S. Adults Are Obese
In May 2016, NPR and Truven Health Analytics polled 3,000 U.S. adults on their eating habits. About 75 percent of respondents thought their diets are “good,” “very good” or “excellent.”
But other studies don’t show that. A CDC study from 2013 showed that 76 percent of the U.S. population didn’t meet the daily recommended fruit intake and 87 percent didn’t meet the recommended daily vegetable intake.
In 2015, the CDC reported that 36 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese, while obesity is common in 17 percent of American youth. The prevalence of obesity was also higher in women, at 38.3 percent, compared to 34.3 percent in men.
5. Fruit & Vegetable Consumption Declined in Recent Years Among Americans
Recent studies have shown an alarming decrease in vegetable and fruit consumption among Americans. A 2015 study by the Produce For Better Health Foundation found that per capita consumption of both fruit and vegetables has declined 7 percent over the previous five years. The study’s authors linked this to a decrease in using vegetables as side dishes at dinner and drinking 100% fruit juices at breakfasts.
The study’s authors wrote:
Vegetables have long been affected by shifts occurring at the dinner table. Americans have been looking for convenience at the dinner occasion and one way to make things more convenient is to include fewer side dishes in their dinner meal and to include them less often. They are also using fewer ingredients to prepare meals. This, along with steady growth for convenient options like ready-to-eat or frozen main dishes, has hurt vegetable consumption.
A 2016 USDA study also found a decrease in vegetable and fruit consumption. Notably, that study found that higher income and education have an impact on healthy eating. The study reads:
Data on vegetable consumption broken down by income level reveal that individuals (children and adults) in households with incomes below 185 percent of the poverty level consumed smaller quantities of potatoes and tomatoes than people in households with incomes above that level. In 2007-08, lower income individuals consumed 49.3 and 28.1 pounds per person per year of potatoes and tomatoes, respectively, and those with higher incomes consumed 53.8 pounds of potatoes and 32.1 pounds of tomatoes per person. A bigger difference was observed in consumption of other vegetables (nonpotato and nontomato): 85.8 pounds per person for higher income individuals versus 69.8 pounds per person for lower income individuals.