Gourmet dining at McDonald’s in Shanghai

March 25, 2015

Maybe China’s government doesn’t care for McDonald’s because of the increase in obesity among the Chinese, but many Chinese think of McDonald’s and Pizza Hut as gourmet restaurants or at least they act like they do.

For instance, a few years ago, my sister-in-law hired a young Shanghai ballerina to model for a photo shoot. Afterwards, the ballerina called her husband on a cell phone and told him to meet her at the two story McDonald’s in the middle of Shanghai to celebrate the extra cash she’d earned.

McDonald’s is even planning to increase the number of outlets in China, and to get ready, they have opened a leadership school that only accepts 1% of the applicants for training.

We also saw long waiting lines outside a fancy Pizza Hut on Shanghai’s Nanjing Road, a crowded pedestrian mall.

More Posts about Shanghai:
Shanghai Huxinting Teahouse
Shanghai Huangpu River Tour
Shanghai’s History & Culture
Chinese Pavilion, Shanghai World Expo


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the lusty love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Finalist in Fiction & Literature – Historical Fiction
The National “Best Books 2010” Awards


Honorable Mentions in General Fiction
2012 San Francisco Book Festival
2012 New York Book Festival
2012 London Book Festival
2009 Los Angeles Book Festival
2009 Hollywood Book Festival

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China’s Holistic Historical Timeline

The Copy-Cat Dietary Revolution

September 7, 2011

Al Jazeera’s Melissa Chan reported from Beijing February 14, 2011, and said, “We are looking at one of the most amazing achievements in the history of mankind. In just one generation, China has managed to lift 500 million people out of poverty and many in China now have more than enough to eat.”

The reason for this is revealed by the CIA World Factbook, which says only 2.5% of Chinese live below the poverty line with a 7.8% illiteracy rate compared to India’s 25.0% living below poverty and 39% illiteracy rate.

However, since there is so much to eat in China, Chan says, “the one child policy encourages doting parents to stuff their children with all the things (meaning too much food) they were denied.”

This has resulted in an explosion of urban fat.

To make her point, Chan compared meat consumption in the U.S. with China revealing that China consumes almost twice as much meat as America. However, Chan points out, there are four times as many Chinese as there are Americans.

What lesson can the Chinese learn from the United States when it comes to eating too much meat and fast food?

According to the CDC, this consumption has resulted in one-third of U.S. adults (33.8%) being obese while about 17% or 12.5 million children ages 2 to 19 are obese, and according to US-China Today, more than 74% of US adults age 15 and older are classified as overweight.

The difference between overweight and obesity is determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI).

BMI is used because, for most people, it correlates with their amount of body fat. An adult who has a BMI between 25 and 29.9 is considered overweight. An adult who has a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Source: CDC Defining Obesity

With an overweight percentage of 38% and rising, mainland China is home to a staggering 380 million-plus people with weight problems, and studies show that weight issues are becoming increasingly prevalent among urban youth (920 million Chinese are not overweight). Source: US-China Today (University of Southern California)

The US, on the other hand, has about 231 million Americans that are overweight leaving 81 million that are not.

This love of meat and fast food in the US and China has resulted in 11.1% of the US population to suffer with the lifestyle disease of diabetes while only 9.7% of China’s population suffers with it.

For a better idea of middle-class prosperity, meat and fast food, consider that in 1992, the rate of diabetes in China was only 2.5% (diabetes has increased in China almost 400% in 18 years) and the first KFC opened in China twenty-four years ago in 1987.

Today, KFC operates 3,200 fast food restaurants in China, while Pizza Hut has 510, McDonalds 850, and Starbucks 450.

Discover The Challenge of Rural Health Care in America and China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

The Danger of False Truths – Part 3/3

July 23, 2011

In another e-mail, this “old” friend questioned China’s behavior in Asia and mentioned the disagreement between Vietnam and China over some offshore oil fields that both countries claim.

He felt this was a sign that China would wage war on other countries and inferred this would not happen if China were a democracy similar to the US, since “no democracy has ever gone to war with another democracy” (his words).

Soon after I received that e-mail, I used Google and found Democracies Do Not Make War on One Another … or Do They? by Matthew White, who does a great job throwing ice-cold water on another false truth.

White says, basically, it depends on the definition of democracy and that individuals will shift the meaning of the definition to fit what he or she wants to believe.

To come up with a set of probabilities, White studied the wars that took place in 1967 and came up with these results:

White wrote, “Now, 1967 is just a single year, but I’ve spent a good deal of this Atlas counting democracies. I can state with reasonable certainty that 44.5% of mapable sovereignties during the WW2-Y2K Era were full democracies. This calculates out to…

  • The odds of 2 random democracies going to war: 19.8%
  • The odds of 2 random non-democracies going to war: 30.8%
  • The odds of a random democracy going to war with a random non-democracy: 49.4%

He also mentions an interesting theory that “no two countries with a McDonald’s Restaurant have ever gone to war with one another”, which seems to indicate that as countries are incorporated into the global economy by trans-national corporations, they stop waging war on one another.

This theory is an individual truth that most of us might want to believe since there then should be no worry that the US and China will ever wage war.

In 2009, the US had 13,381 McDonalds and in 2010, China had almost 1,000 with thousands more planned. In addition, China has thousands of Pizza Huts, KFCs, Starbucks and the Chinese love to drive Buicks and Fords. Wal-Mart is even building stores in China.

However, I discovered the McDonald’s theory might be another false truth.

Pakistan has 25 McDonalds and the first one was built in 1998. India has 192 with the first built in 1996, and the last Indo-Pakistani War was in 1999.

Return to The Danger of False Truths – Part 2 or start with Part 1


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too.

To subscribe to “iLook China”, look for the “Subscribe” button at the top of the screen in the menu bar, click on it then follow directions.

Deadly Fat Profits

July 24, 2010

CNNMoney.com reports in China: The new fast food nation, that Yum Brand, the parent company of KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has seen its profits in China jump 33% in the second quarter.… In fact, American fast food is very popular in China.  Yum opens one new KFC every day in China with nearly 3,000 and a long-term goal to have 20,000 fast-food outlets in Chinese cities.

Keeping pace with fast food consumption is the increase in obesity, diabetes and cancer rates in China.  Bullfax.com reports that the growing popularity of Western junk food is fueling a diabetes boom across Asia. In fact, China is facing a diabetes epidemic and 92 million Chinese men and women have diabetes and almost 150 million more are close to having it.

CBS News reports that China’s soaring cancer rates appear to be keeping pace with the increase in urban Chinese eating Western fast food. When Deng Xiaoping said, “Getting rich is glorious,” did he mean that business people should become parasites causing this to happen?

See The Challenge of Rural Health Care in America and China


Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of the concubine saga, My Splendid Concubine & Our Hart. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. 

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From Fast-Food to Killing – You Decide

April 13, 2010

I read Man Sentenced to death over China school stabbings and thought, “Is this another Columbine Copy Cat—but in China, the Middle Kingdom. where harmony rules?” Then I read in another piece that McDonald’s plans to double the number of fast-food restaurants in China from about 1,100 to 2,000 by the end of 2013.

Fast Food in China

It’s a fact that a fast-food diet has been observed to aggravate asthma, move mood swings, provoke personality changes, muster mental illness, nourish nervous disorders, deliver diabetes, hurry heart disease, grow gallstones, hasten hypertension, and add arthritis. Source: Healing Daily

Without making any claims that fast food might be connected to that man stabbing those children in China, I’m going to point out a few facts and let the reader decide.

America leads the world in violent assaults on school children of all ages. Prior to 1950, when the fast food industry took off and spread like a cancer, there were a total of forty-five recorded school-related attacks in the United States (over a time span of almost two centuries).

After 1950, the number of school-related attacks soared to about two hundred.  In China, recorded school-related attacks didn’t start until May 14, 2000. Since then, there have been more than a dozen. Source: List of school-related attacks

Here are two timelines for the growth of the fast-food industry in American and China. Study the dates. Compare to growth of school-related attacks. Decide.

History timeline of fast food in America

History timeline of fast food in China

See “An Invasion of Fat” http://wp.me/pN4pY-hb