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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Not-so-Happy meal

McDonald's appears to be under pressure from various nutritionist group and the oh so powerful first lady. It seems Michelle Obama and these groups cite McDonald's toys in Happy Meals as a leading cause of childhood obesity. 

Really, A plastic non-edible toy is making children fat? I call Bull shit. The problem isn't McDonald's toys in happy meals. Its parents and their substitution of real nutritionally balanced meals for fast food ( ie. Happy Meals). McDonald's- is McBling, a multi-billion dollar enterprise. McDonald's is not McCalorie-Counter, and their core competency is not providing fresh fruits and veggies. I believe that parents should have the responsibility of making sure their children get adequate nutrition.

McDonald's has had success through their brilliant business strategies, one of which was to be the most dominate highway eatery. Happy Meals and long drives, complement each other beautifully- screaming kid crying because of no toy or happy kid giggling with toy, its not hard to recognize the preferred scenario. In an ideal hippy commune sort of world It would be nice if McDonald's food was healthy or healthier; but with price leadership strategies is healthy affordable for the chain? 

McD's food is a vice, it is garbage we enjoy. If they were to become masters of lean cousine would we the cosumer accept?

In part, I don't believe that happy meal is being bullied with out an agenda. If Pepsi pays huge dollars for "experience" marketing than maybe Disney, pixar, Mattel and all the other featured happy meal toys have paid for their cardboard box.  Maybe we are against overt adverts to children barley out of diapers.

As the argument goes: Kids are fat because they eat happy meals that come with toys. So Kids aren't fat because happy meals don't have toys. There is no rationality to the argument. Kids could be less active because they are hyper sensitive to the latest 3D must see movie and PS3 game...which they learned about while playing with some promo china made figure. 

We as a society have somehow accepted all forms or marketing/promotions into our daily lives at an increasing rate. Half the time we don't realize we were marketed to, until we are hooked. If Michelle Obama and the nutritional organizations rallied against unsolicited marketing- I'd buy that argument and and the not-so happy looking box. 

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