Does a Happy Meal Make Everybody Happy?
Well, the answer to this question for some concerned parents and groups is “No.” The marketing to children of processed meals, loaded with sodium, high in fat, and sugar coated with a “toy inside” has been argued as irresponsible and contributing to our nation’s out of control childhood obesity rate. The Corporate Accountability International (CAI) presented a proposal yesterday to McDonald’s shareholders asking them to consider links between fast food and childhood obesity—and more importantly, the company’s responsibility to correct. McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner refuted the proposal, stating McDonald’s would “continue to advertise to our customers responsibly about our menu and about lifestyle choices and leave the personal responsibility up to them.” Skinner claimed that the fast food company takes “responsible advertising very seriously.”
True, it is the responsibility of parents to make healthy, safe decisions for their children. By all accounts, most parents do everything to protect their children from harm. However, what if you live in a community with little access to healthy foods? With hungry kids, little in your wallet and McDonald’s just around the corner, should the Happy Meal make you happy for its existence?