Fewer Choices, More Options?


So, apparently McDonald's has decided to take "super-size" items off its menu, partly in order to ditch its "golden arches = fallen arches" reputation as a fat factory. Fine, whatever. Except the article linked above describes the move this way:

[The phase out is] part of an effort to simplify its menu and give customers choices that support a balanced lifestyle, a company spokesman said Tuesday. […] The move comes as the world's largest restaurant company, and fast-food chains in general, are under growing public pressure to give consumers healthier food options in a nation that has suddenly become aware of its bulging waistline and the health dangers that come with it.

Except, of course, they're not actually "giving" you any more or healthier options than you had before—you can go in and order a salad now. One might even think that the natural way to describe this would be as "taking away" options. But hey, what do I know. (Hat tip: Colby Cosh.)

Update: Just to clarify, I don't really give a damn about the decision in itself—hell, I haven't so much as walked into a McDonalds in years. And I don't know whether the health motivation was primary, or just a gloss on a change made for other economic reasons. I'm just amused that a restriction of the choice set is being spun as "giving" people healthier options… options they already had.