A new study in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine (which sounds like a fun read, btw)
shows that kids aged three to five overwhelmingly prefer McDonald’s-branded food items to generic ones. In the test, the tikes consistently reached for MickeyD french fries over those in plain white bags. They also opted for hamburgers, chicken nuggets and even carrots enclosed in wrapping paper with the golden arches.
This is scary stuff and shows how insidious and infectious TV advertising can be to little kids who stare at their sets hour after hour. There’s no doubt they are clearly connecting to the McDonald’s TV spots. It wouldn’t be so outrageous if childhood obesity wasn’t at all-time record highs.
So, what’s McDonald’s response to the study? A spokesman said "….. (It) was important and McDonald’s has been addressing it for quite some time." Yeah, sure.
McDonald’s, like big tobacco, has hooked millions and millions of Americans on their horrific food items and they’re not about to abandon future generations. Sure, they’ll add a salad or two to the menu, but TV commercials highlighting artery-clogging fries and burgers are just as important to Mickey D’s ongoing success as Pinocchio, The Lion King and The Little Mermaid are to Disney.
In my opinion, McDonald’s is paying lip service to the problem (pun intended). It’s up to parents to police kids’ TV viewing if they want today’s tiny tikes to avoid becoming tomorrow’s two-ton teen time bombs.