Don't doubt the massive power that McDonald's holds over kids
When you think about the most famous brands in the entire world that are almost universally recognized by virtually everyone who sees them, one particular brand rises to the very top--MCDONALD'S! There's no denying the saturation of the Golden Arches in the marketplace today, but there's scientific evidence now that shows this influence goes much deeper than mere recognition especially among children.
In Episode 119 of "The Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore", I highlight a study published in August 2007 that found children preferred food that was wrapped in paper with the McDonald's logo on it compared to the exact same food appearing in plain paper wrapping. It's an absolutely astonishing discovery and further solidifies the argument that many are making that McDonald's has a responsibility to encourage healthier food options for its young customer base.
McDonald's is a modern-day cultural phenomenon. No other business can claim such a strong foothold on the children of this world (except for maybe Disney, but that's debatable!). And with that great power there should be a responsibility to do something effective with it while still maintaining a profitable business model. The two are not mutually exclusive and offering healthy alternatives at the most famous fast food restaurant in the world is not an unreasonable request. And don't tell me they already do offer "healthy" choices because sugary salads and HFCS-infested caramel apple dippers don't count!
Creating the R Gym concept was a good start on the fitness end of things and so was donating $2 million to childhood obesity research. But those are merely window dressing on a problem that runs deeper than even McDonald's is willing to admit. Fast food makes you fatter--DUH! And yet representatives with the company want to claim eating the food at Mickey D's is part of a "balanced" diet. As John Stossel would say, give me a break!
What do you make of this study revealing the marketing prowess of a company like McDonald's? Do you think they should use their popularity among the kids to begin educating and offering better food choices? Or it is perfectly fine for them to continue peddling burgers, French fries and milkshakes to serve the needs of their "growing" customer base?