Kudos to the Center for Science in the Public Interest for challenging McDonald’s role in the current childhood epidemic of diabetes and other diet-related diseases, as seen in a July 19 article in the Boston Globe. The Globe reports that $1.6 billion is spent annually on marketing to kids. That's $1.6 billion worth of targeted messages that a parent has to work against when trying to teach their child healthy eating habits! The Globe quotes a study by the Institute of Medicine that food and beverage marketing pose "a direct threat to the health of the next generation.’’
The stakes are high. Kids are getting sick at staggering rates, as the fast food industry lures young customers through predatory marketing practices. At Corporate Accountability International, our successful campaign to retire Joe Camel shows that stopping advertisements of harmful products to children can save lives.
The public agrees: A recent national poll found that nearly half the public would like to see McDonald’s stop using Ronald McDonald to hook kids on fast food. We’ve found Ronald marketing directly to kids in children’s libraries, hospitals and all over the internet, even though young kids are unable to understand Ronald’s persuasive intent.
It’s time for McDonald’s to put away the toys, retire Ronald, and stop marketing to kids!
Post by Jamie Gordon