I found this over on consumerist.com:
"Health advocates are setting their outrage phasers on kill over a McDonald's ad appearing on the report cards of Seminole County, Florida elementary schools. The ad promises free Happy Meals to kids with good grades, despite promises by McDonald's that they would " ban advertising to children under 12 or limit them to food and snacks that meet certain nutritional guidelines."
Whats the deal? This gets me really frustrated. How does it make you feel?
Being the father of a four year old who has never stepped foot in a McDonald's. I am ****** off. But this is a choice that parents make not children.
It reminds me of that film, Supersize Me and all of the creepy ways that company has infiltrated our society
Remember how that one guy in "Supersize Me" said that for many low-income neighborhoods, McDonald's Play Place is the only park for kids to play. This kind of stuff really makes me mad. It never ceases to amaze me the audacity of corporations like McDonalds, to target impressionable youth in new and creative ways. If / when I have children, they will be homeschooled. Straight up. However since social skills are important, they will be involved extensively in sports and martial arts. I encourage parents to reward their children with healthy incentives. When I spent summers at my Aunt and Uncle's house, we pulled weeds in the garden, and I got a penny a weed, for which we spent the earnings at Trader Joes. Thus began, planting seeds in my mind for the organic revolution.
McDonald's has worked hard to target kids. If they can get them hooked early, they will be addicted for life.We would not knowingly expose our child to a deadly virus or bacteria.Yet, many parents allow unhealthy eating habits for their children, putting them at risk for disease. This is the disease that we don't see, disease that lurks under the surface, within the cells, within the arterial walls, and within the bones of our children. This is not as obvious to us, nor will it become obvious until many years down the line, perhaps, long after we're gone. Here is a post I did in my blog about this topic. I list several tips and ideas on keeping your kid from looking like this and list several books to aid you along the way. Click on the following link to read the post. When Does A Happy Meal Become Sad? Why Is Fast Food So Addictive?
As appalling as this story is, I almost find it hilarious that anyone is actually surprised. The McDonalds corporation has made Trillions sending their fat cell nuke rounds all over the world. The extent of McDonalds' influence on the perception of American Society was never more apparent then when I got an "American Pizza" in Venice. I nearly fell out of my seat laughing, when I saw that the pizza had on it Hot Dogs and French Fries. The waiter didn't understand the humor of it.
Although I am not going to even attempt to defend McDonalds as health food, (I sometimes like loosing battles, but that is rediculous) I am going to point out that some of the truely outraged should look at what is being served in some school lunch rooms. Guess what??? Grab a Big Mac and a Pepperoni Pizza from Dominos. What is worse is that this is frequently the healthy alternative food to what is being made by the school contractors.
I cannot find the episode again, but if you ever watch "The Biggest Looser," you will know exactly what I am referring to. The coaches went to school and found good that you had to blot with a napkin to get some of the grease off before attempting to eat it. Both coaches elected to skip lunch, which is one of the key principles they advocate against. When asking the lunch lady about it, she simply dismissed it as, "This is a business, and we are trying to make money. We have to sell what the kids will eat." All of this while schools are cutting PE left and right.
Perhaps we should view the whole McDonalds advertisement not as a problem, but as a symptom of a school system that is way off course. And, just maybe, the parents of these children who weigh more than me (I tip the scales at 207), should take a serious look at their own eating habits. Of course, given that I am on this site, maybe I am spouting off to the wrong group of people...