Sunday, November 23, 2008

McDonald's Moms Marketing Madness

What alliteration! My new not-so-cuss word for how livid I am about this new marketing maneuver by McDonald's (...there I go again). I can't believe I did not see it coming. I'm sure other advocates did. 

So here is how it went down...
I was quitely watching CNN the other night, tucked under my blanket, homework in hand, when all of a sudden "moms declare McDonald's FRENCH FRIES healthy..." I think I stopped breathing. Of all things, the french fries are healthy?! And of all people, moms are now voluntary public media advocates for McDonald's?! 

This is clever, very clever. 

Honestly there is not much I can say about this. Later clips on CNN suggest that many moms won't be fooled. While I am all for a big mac (well maybe a chicken sandwich...) every once in a while, I cannot imagine anyone saying that McDonald's main offerings are healthy. Though, I will give the salads some credit. Perhaps, McDonald's is healthy if you are comparing french fries and double bacon cheeseburgers to...umm...cheez whiz and ding dongs? 

Many don't believe that big macs, chicken nuggets, and french fries harm health. I beg to differ (call me crazy or rent Super Size Me). Do you know that years ago (perhaps still today) people & their kids ate McDonald's food thinking that it was perfectly "healthy." There can be no debate that fast food corporations have done everything within their power to prevent nutrition information from effectively reaching consumers. Furthermore, even if fast food does harm health, no one can prove that disease had anything to do with diet. Maybe lack of exercise, but For more on Big Food "wellness" tactics check out Michele Simon's Book: Appetite for Profit.

I digress. There are fervent believers on both sides of the issue. I know this post leans to the left. Feel free to comment either way. I need to know what you think -- my future public health career may depend on it!


Rachel said...

Well, I do think that Ronald McDonald Houses serve a lot of communities...there is certainly a benefit there.

With respect to fries - I can't really disagree with you, except to say that a small fries only has 230 calories and 11 grams of fat (per the website), which isn't TERRIBLE. McD's does have indoor play space which offers socialization for kids and perhaps this is a way to let moms feel better about going there.

That being said - it is gross food and we've pledged not to ever feed our kids McD's! I think we'll hit up Wendy's if we're ever in sire straits for indoor play space and fried food.

Kate M said...

Thanks for your comments Rachel. You make some great points. I agree that McDonald's has established some great initiatives because of its profitability and success. There are worse things than a small fries and a crispy chicken salad (or sandwich). I do think though, that fast food (i.e. convenience/junk food) marketing is out of control!