This article from Bloomberg.com states that "reported August sales [for McDonald's] rose more than some analysts estimated as consumers battered by higher gasoline and grocery bills bought $1 sodas in the U.S. and snack-sized chicken wraps in France."
The issue isn't so much that people are buying $1 sodas, but that it is the large sizes that are selling for the reduced cost of a single dollar.
A large Mickey D's cup offers 2 pints of soda, 21.5 teaspoons of sugar, and 310 calories (along with zero nutrition).
It's rather ironic that one of the main menu items driving up sales at McDonald's during an economic recession is one that offers no sustenance.
It's also very telling that the United States consumers opt for large sodas while French customers spend their money on snack-sized items.
Had McDonald's execs in the United States consulted me about menu changes during touch economic times, I would have suggested expanding the "dollar menu" by introducing smaller portions of more menu items.
Does advocating for smaller portions make me anti-American?