Friday, February 11, 2011

Happy meals: not so good for the kids

McDonald's in IsraelImage via Wikipedia
McDonald's is in hot water again as a food industry watchdog group threatens to take them to court over its enticing kids into the restaurant with toys included in the "Happy Meal." As is well known, many fast food chains incorporates movie or cartoon characters in children's meals.

According to Center for Science in the Public Interest, marketing toys with junk food is illegal under consumer protection laws in Massachusetts, Texas, the District of Columbia, New Jersey and California.(Cox, L. "Food Industry Watchdog Group Calls Marketing Toys With Junk Food"Illegal." Basically, it is saying that children will be forming poor food habits that will affect them for the rest of their life.

Michael Jacobsen, in an interview with Yunji de Nies of ABC News stated, " Dangling a toy in front of a kid to try to get them into your restaurant is unfair and deceptive, because it's targeted at kids who are what? Four years old?...." The Group feels that the meal is nutritionally unbalanced as it provides 1/2 days worth of fat, and sodium and two times a day's worth of sugar.

William Whitman, vice president of communications at McDonald's countered in an email to, "We couldn't disagree more with the misrepresentation of our food and marketing practices made by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Since 2006, we have been a part of the Council for Better Business Bureau's voluntary initiative to address the importance of children's well being."

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