January 19, 2008

Give McDonald's a "F"; Parents get an "A"

If you get all A's and B's on your report card, then McDonald's wants you to get high marks on your BMI as well.

In Florida McDonald's restaurants were giving away free Happy Meals with good grades. (Now there's a misnomer...are you much happier being fat than fit?)

Is anyone thinking at McDonald's, or just watching their waists and wallets expand? And what about the Florida school officials? Maybe they should give away a pack of cigarettes to the honor students. These people are teaching our children?? (Luckily, they're not my children.)

[How fat is Florida's youth? Well, in the last survey they were 21st in the nation. Only 20 more states to pass to be the fattest.]

Finally, some enlightened parents blew the whistle on this atrocious advertisement.

AdAge.com reports:

McDonald's Corp. has voluntarily pulled its sponsorship from report-card covers in Seminole County, Fla., public schools after parental complaints. The fast-food giant had agreed to sponsor the report-card jackets for the county's elementary schools to cover a printing fee of $1,600. On the jackets, McDonald's offered a free happy meal to any student with all A's and B's, two or fewer absences, or good behavior in a given academic quarter.

"In the absence of needed government regulation to protect schoolchildren from predatory companies like McDonald's, the burden is on parents to be vigilant about exploitative marketing aimed at children," said Dr. Susan Linn, director of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. "One parent can make a difference. There is no doubt that the Seminole County ads would have continued -- and violated McDonald's pledge to stop advertising in elementary schools -- had one parent not called attention to the problem."

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