KEEP McDONALD'S "NUTRITION" INFOMERCIAL OUT OF OUR CHILDREN'S SCHOOLS!
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I'm a public school mom and an advocate who writes about issues relating to kids and food.
I recently learned that McDonald's wants middle and high schools around the country to screen its new "nutrition education" film, 540 Meals: Choices Make the Difference. The film follows a science teacher, John Cisna, who ate nothing but McDonald’s for six months and lost weight by significantly cutting his calories.
The film is pitched to schools as "educational" - it even comes with a "Teachers Discussion Guide" prepared by McDonald's - but in reality it's little more than a heavily-branded infomercial for the fast food chain, one that seems cynically calculated to get kids to eat even more fast food than they do now. In this era of childhood obesity, that’s a terrible idea.
It’s fine to teach kids about calorie balancing, but this naked advertising effort expressly tells impressionable kids that “there’s nothing wrong with fast food” and that they shouldn’t believe any negative information on the Internet about fast food or McDonald’s. It also makes no mention of the poor nutritional quality of most fast food.
Teens and pre-teens are notoriously impulsive. So when a trusted authority like a science teacher says he ate fries on a near-daily basis for six months, as well as regularly eating Big Macs, Quarter Pounders and ice cream - and that he still eats at McDonald’s every day – do we think teens are suddenly going to become highly disciplined calorie-cutters? Or do we think they’ll get the message that it’s OK to eat even more fast food?
If McDonald's wants to post 540 Meals on YouTube or show it in movie theaters, that's the company's right. But it's our right as parents to keep this kind of aggressive fast food advertising out of our kids’ schools.
PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION TO TELL MCDONALD'S TO IMMEDIATELY DISCONTINUE THE COMPANY'S 540 MEALS SCHOOL OUTREACH PROGRAM.
For a link to the entire 20-minute film and more information about it, you can read my detailed post here.
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