McDonald's marketing called out in national ad campaign

Categories: Fast Food

Health practitioners are asking McD's to get rid of this guy.
This week's print edition of City Pages includes a full-page ad in which 550 health professionals and health organizations ask McDonald's to retire Ronald McDonald and stop marking unhealthy food to kids.

The letter, which is also running in the Chicago Sun-Times, New York Metro, Boston Metro, San Francisco Examiner, and Baltimore City Paper, bears the weighty signatures of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, NYU nutrition and public heath professor Marion Nestle, and integrative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil among many others.

The signees, organized by the nonprofit watchdog group Corporate Accountability International, are asking McDonald's to take responsibility for its marketing's impact on childhood obesity and to assess its company's "health footprint."

In writing about the letter, The Wall Street Journal noted that food makers who market to kids are increasingly be asked to monitor what they're encouraging kids to eat. Last year, San Francisco passed an ordinance that established nutritional standards for kids' meals that come with toys. Last month, federal regulators proposed voluntary standards for marketing food to children and teens that would include having meals be required to contain a certain amount of healthy items (fruits, vegetables, lean meats) and limit items with excessive sodium, sugar, fat and calories.

What do you think? Should food makers be left to their own devices or should the marketing of junk food to youth be more heavily regulated, as tobacco is?

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Donna Moores
Donna Moores

 I agree with Scott.  I do not think we need to blame the restaurants for our weight issues. I don't want to see the government telling us what to eat or whom  or how to advertise.


I realized upon re-reading my initial post that I missed stating a couple of things:

I would be thrilled if there were tighter controls overall on marketing to children.  I think it would make parenting easier (however, not make it go away), and not just with issues surrounding food and obesity.  I also think improved nutrition in our school lunch programs is needed; I support that.  However, it's not always the food being served, but how it's being prepared, and that's another issue, and I won't start that debate here.

Now, just to be original comments were not intended as defense of McDonald's, other fast food restaurants, or for that matter, any restaurant, any kind, shape, or size. There are a lot of restaurants out there serving, as Danny calls it, "shitty food" (I assume he means food with questionable nutritional value). I've even seen some charge $30+ a plate for what I would define this way and they call in haute cuisine (Foie Gras, any one?)  I still can't understand that one, but I get that it's a personal taste issue.

As Danny also so eloquently stated, "there are a lot of ignorant dipshits out there".  Terrific; so because a person is ignorant, or in a lot of cases, too lazy to make "good decision" or prepare a nutritional meal, we need need to change the entire environment, lock everything down, legislate everything, so that there is never an opportunity for that person to make a "bad decision"? This type of control is impossible, and definitely not something that could ever be maintained.

Sorry, in my mind it will always come down to personal responsibility and ignorance is not an excuse.


Well, thanks for being a responsible parent, Scott. Unfortunately, as we all know, there is no entrance exam for parents -- there are a lot of ignorant dipshits out there. Disadvantaged/poor folks are way more likely to be obese than the general population. Why? Shitty food access and ignorance. Agreed we don't need more laws, but we don't need people defending crap companies like McDonald's either.


Why are we still blaming the restaurants and food manufacturers and legislating them when the real issue still rests with parents and their lack of parenting?  As a father of two, we do not frequently eat at McDonald's, or any "fast food" restaurant.  Yes, we do eat fast food; maybe once every couple of weeks. It is a "treat" meal, not a "standard, everyday" meal.  And my wife and I, as the parents in the family, actually have something to say about what is ordered (what a concept!!).  If parents would actually "parent", by make good choices for their children, and lead by example, there would be less obesity, and maybe, just maybe, less demand for this type of food, which may force McDonald's and other "fast food" restaurants to change what they offer.  This is just another attempt to place the blame on a corporation versus on the individual.  STOP blaming others for something that is your fault. Learn to say "No" to your children, and everyone will be better for it.


 I agree with you Scott. I have three children, the oldest grown and two at home. They are all slender. They eat at McDonald's for Friday lunch. They do not overindulge. I think that if you forbid something, it becomes desirable to your children. If they can't have it, they want it. Once a week is an okay thing, in my opinion. What is the real killer here is that the "healthy" foods are deceiving. For example, salads - . Cheesecake Factory Caesar Salad with Chicken - 1,513 calories16 g saturated fat1,481 mg sodium23 g carbohydratesMy advice- before you head to the restaurant, look at the nutritional information on the website. They are not going to give it to you , so look before.  You will be amazed - a Whopper Jr, no cheese, and skip the bun - way less fattening than a salad!

And the most important point that you have made -- stop the government from making our decisions!  I am so tired of the powers that be thinking that I am so ignorant that I cannot figure out what is good for my family.  I as the primary grocery shopper and food preparer in my home am responsible - and no one else!  Thank you very much, social programs, but I have three healthy children and two healthy adults to provide meals for, and I do not appreciate your intervention.

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