Lately we heard that junk foods endorsed with cartoon characters raised the concerns of health experts as cartoons characters lure kids to junk foods. We know that junk foods are responsible for obesity. In US 32% of children and adolescents are overweight or obese, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With this growing awareness, recently a watchdog group – The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) threatens to sue the fast food giant McDonald’s over Happy Meals promotions. CSPI says that McDonald’s violates consumer protection laws in the states of Massachusetts, Texas, California, New Jersey, and the Washington federal district.
McDonald’s Happy Meals
McDonald’s recent ads featured the lovable cartoon ogre Shrek. The Happy Meals in those ads offer Apple Dippers and 1% milk instead of french fries and sugary soft drinks.
The study conducted by CSPI found that most of the kids don’t get what is featured in Happy Meals. The study revealed that nine out of ten times, a child or adult who orders a Happy Meal without specifying Apple Dippers is given french fries. Children get toys even if they order a Happy Meal with a cheeseburger, french fries, and a Sprite.
Health experts says that such a meal gives a 4 to 8 years old child half a day’s calories, two days worth of saturated fat, two days worth of sugar, and a large dose of salt.
CSPI has warned that it would sue the to McDonald’s if it did not...
stop the practice within 30 days. In response to the allegations, McDonald’s Vice President of Communications, William Whitman, said the company “couldn’t disagree more” with the assertion that their toys violate any laws. He said: “We are proud of our Happy Meal which gives our customers wholesome food and toys of the highest quality and safety. Getting a toy is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald’s.”
Politicians in California’s Silicon Valley have already passed a law that allows restaurants to give away toys with meals that meet a nutritional standard. Those who will be giving away free toys and other incentives with unhealthy meals for children will violate the law and be punished.
On an average McDonald’s spent $520 million in advertising directed at children and toy giveaways promotion represents more than $350 million of this total budget.
This is the great step taken by the CSPI and politicians to address obesity rise in children. McDonald’s like big giants have a great influence on kids, nationwide. I hope McDonald’s and other restaurants will follow the guidelines and contribute in developing healthy nation, healthy world and healthy future. Remember, Children are the future.