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#1 Edited by Still_I_Cry (2494 posts) -

"More than 550 health professionals and organizations have signed a letter to McDonald's Corp. asking the maker of Happy Meals to stop marketing junk food to kids and retire Ronald McDonald.

Food marketed to kids ages 2 to 17 would have to contain healthy items and limit sodium, sugar, fat and calories, according to the proposed guidelines issued by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Agriculture."

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576329610340358394.html

Personally, I never really liked McDonald's food but this seems a bit..extreme..

I don't think it is the fault of McDonald's that parents buy their kids the food. If no one bought the food because it was unhealthy to the point of damaging their children's health after one meal then I could see an argument..As it stands, it seems rather unnecessary to force McDonald's to change, it isn't like parents are being forced to buy their children Happy Meals. If parents truly cared that much about their children's health and what food they eat then they should at least try to take a personal part in overseeing what their children are eating.

Also, zombie baby? "A premature Argentine baby has been found alive in a morgue, 12 hours after she was pronounced dead, reports say."

Yeah, zombie baby.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17670381

#2 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -

I hate when people are so massively against something that is optional.

#3 Posted by sungahymn (987 posts) -

What's NOT wrong with stuff involving children these days?

#4 Posted by TEHMAXXORZ (1199 posts) -

Well sheeet...

#5 Posted by StarvingGamer (8028 posts) -

Came to defend freedom.

Stayed for the zombie baby.

Seriously wtf.

#6 Posted by Brodehouse (9615 posts) -

McDonalds does sucker parents into a decision between "Do you want to deal with a crying, screaming child who hates you now" or "do you want to buy some McDonalds?" McDonalds tells children that it's fun to eat their shitty food, and if you aren't eating their shitty food, you're not having fun. Kids don't know shit about flavor or nutrition, all you have to do is make everything shiny and tell them that drinking milkshakes will make them happy and they'll believe it.

#7 Posted by AlisterCat (5484 posts) -

Just do what japan does and make him sexy.

#8 Posted by Aas (603 posts) -

As a kid Ronald McDonald always scared the shit out of me. He is basically a Juggalo and I am not "down with the clown".

#9 Posted by Matfei90 (1288 posts) -
@CL60 said:
I hate when people are so massively against something that is optional.
This. Ronald McDonald never made me want the food as a kid - the food itself did.
#10 Edited by morrelloman (606 posts) -

They should have him get into a twitter dick pic scandal and resign so that today's kids can fully understand what happened to him.

EDIT: This will also give adults closure as it reveals that his dick is a french fry and his nuts are McNuggets.

#11 Posted by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

When I was a lad growing up in the 80s, fast food was a rare thing to have. It was a treat. Hell, I still remember how good the burger king chicken sandwich was back when they cut it in half at a angle. Anyway, I have to agree with a lot of posts on here that its dumb to ask a company to stop selling something that is totally not forced onto people. Now if it was a group asking the feds or state to increase the speed limit on highways and interstates, I'd get behind that 100%.

#12 Posted by mordukai (7140 posts) -

I say retire him and replace him with Pennywise.

#13 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7054 posts) -
@Brodehouse

McDonalds does sucker parents into a decision between "Do you want to deal with a crying, screaming child who hates you now" or "do you want to buy some McDonalds?" McDonalds tells children that it's fun to eat their shitty food, and if you aren't eating their shitty food, you're not having fun. Kids don't know shit about flavor or nutrition, all you have to do is make everything shiny and tell them that drinking milkshakes will make them happy and they'll believe it.

Yeah considering McDonalds spends like 4 billion a year on advertising.
#14 Posted by Ravenlight (8040 posts) -

Hey health officials, you Ronald McDonald isn't a real person. He's just a mascot, they don't get retirement benefits.

#15 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

@Ravenlight said:

Hey health officials, you Ronald McDonald isn't a real person. He's just a mascot, they don't get retirement benefits.

The actors do. Some even go on to help old toothless racists celebrate their centenaries on national TV.

Smuckers.

#16 Posted by Hailinel (23941 posts) -
@AlisterCat

Just do what japan does and make him sexy.

@mordukai

I say retire him and replace him with Pennywise.

Is there a way both can be applied?
#17 Posted by matthias2437 (985 posts) -

@CL60 said:

I hate when people are so massively against something that is optional.

I agree.

Also, at least in America, we are supposed to be a free country. If parents want to raise their children to be fat waste of space then McDonalds should be able to market to that demographic and supply their demand of shitty food. I personally don't eat fast food often because it is kind of a waste of health, but people should be able to eat what they want, and market the way they want to.

#18 Posted by jorbear (2517 posts) -

@StarvingGamer said:

Came to defend freedom.

Stayed for the zombie baby.

Seriously wtf.

Sounds like an average visit to McDonalds for me.

#19 Posted by MikkaQ (10268 posts) -

Stop Happy Meals? You might as well stop democracy you crazy bastards!

Well anyway, this:

"We are committed to responsible advertising and take our communications to children very seriously," McDonald's said in a statement. "We understand the importance of children's health and nutrition, and are committed to being part of the dialogue and solution. We serve high quality food, and our Happy Meals offer choice and variety in portions just for kids. Parents tell us they appreciate our Happy Meal choices."

Is the line they're going to walking for a while, until this dies down. McDonalds isn't going to give up massive portions of it's own business.

#20 Posted by Drebin_893 (2902 posts) -

@CL60 said:

I hate when people are so massively against something that is optional.

This. So, so, so, so much this.

#22 Posted by TheWholeDamnShow (232 posts) -

This is stupid. No one forces anyone to buy anything. If you don't want your kids eating Mickey D's then don't buy it for them!

#23 Posted by ShadowConqueror (3050 posts) -

I love McDonald's, but I couldn't care less about their fucking clown.

#24 Posted by BraveToaster (12590 posts) -

Maybe they should ask lazy ass parents to grow the fuck up and cook healthy meals for their children.

#25 Posted by Brodehouse (9615 posts) -

@idoublespy said:

@Brodehouse said:

McDonalds does sucker parents into a decision between "Do you want to deal with a crying, screaming child who hates you now" or "do you want to buy some McDonalds?" McDonalds tells children that it's fun to eat their shitty food, and if you aren't eating their shitty food, you're not having fun. Kids don't know shit about flavor or nutrition, all you have to do is make everything shiny and tell them that drinking milkshakes will make them happy and they'll believe it.

I think you are looking at the visible issue, and not the fundamental issue. Bad parenting in America allows children to scream and demand what they want, and because of how twisted the media and government have made the idea of parenthood, parents cave into the pressure of society and insufficient advice. Of course a temper and bad behavior are just an inherent trait to a small human who cannot comprehend some of the major and minor complexities of existence; even if it is the difference between a happy meal and a fruit shake.

Regardless, we are shaping the children of today and they are slowing becoming exactly what we do not want. Idiocracy.

No, no. "Bad parenting" is not a child screaming to get what they want. That's just what children do. As video game enthusiasts we rush to kick parents in the junk a little fast, and that isn't their fault. Parents don't cave into the pressure of society, they cave into the pressure of trying to live an adult life with a raging little bastard who won't build empathy until his early 20s. Bad parenting is not having an endless supply of patience.

I don't think retiring Ronald McDonald will solve anything, but McDonalds does rely on hooking kids on McDonalds early, to pressure parents into buying McDonalds instead of anything else.

#26 Posted by Butler (384 posts) -

@Drebin_893 said:

@CL60 said:

I hate when people are so massively against something that is optional.

This. So, so, so, so much this.

It's not entirely optional.

I will concede no one is holding a gun to their heads forcing them go but the weight of economic leverage can be a HUGE influence.

Parents have no hope if they are poor and this is exacerbated if they live in a city/low income area where the only options of food available to them are overwhelming amounts of fast food chains and shitty quality foods from their local supermarkets. Add this to the number of poor that are also uneducated, for one probably shouldn't be having kids I'll give you that, but have no other option but to satiate their kids with the quickest, easiest option they can afford. As a poor parent would you rather feed you child more albeit unhealthier foods, keeping them fed all the time or much less with expensive healthier foods? The latter option is not always available based on their income. I live in Philly and I am confronted with this everyday. The fact this the lower income portion of this nation is being poisoned through sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and other additives and hormones.

I'm not trying to say it's entirely the corporations fault and no blame should befall the parents. But rather that before we are quick to blame we should view the issue from many angles.

Kids are crying, complaining, screaming, having mood swings tantrums etc because they're exhibiting withdrawal symptoms. Age them ten fifteen years and switch the drug from food to cigarettes, coffee, coke, soda, etc and you'll see the same behaviors. Sugar is so fucking bad for you and it's in EVERYTHING.

Eating healthy in America is a very expensive privilege.

Retire Ronald? Burn him in effigy.

#27 Posted by Arker101 (1474 posts) -

It's ultimately up to the parents whether or not they want to eat out or cook in, but that petition would be better off asking for healthier food and better serving sizes.

#28 Posted by Breadfan (6589 posts) -

Huzzah for misplaced blame. Go bad parenting!

#29 Posted by Demoskinos (14578 posts) -
@mordukai

I say retire him and replace him with Pennywise.

Genius.
#30 Posted by Undeadpool (4913 posts) -

550 health officials insist parents shouldn't have to parent.

#31 Posted by GunnBjorn (2911 posts) -

This problem has already been addressed in Morgan Spurlock's 2003 documentary 'Supersize Me'.
#32 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

This is just parents being typical parents and not taking any responsibility for their shitty child-raising habits.

#33 Posted by TooWalrus (13139 posts) -

I know that freedom of speech is a huge fuckin' deal, but... I can't really see any negative effects to restricting the amount of marketing of harmful foods directly to children.

#34 Posted by stinky (1544 posts) -

its trying to get kids less interested in wanting for McDonald's food.

seems well grounded in something people interested in health should advocate for.

furthermore seems like something good parents should want, why do they want a company trying to attract their kids into eating unhealthy?

no parent wants to unnecessarily be the "bad guy" in the eyes of their kids when choosing what to eat.

#35 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

While I agree that parents should parent and not blame other people I am also left to wonder why people are also defending a corporate selling tool. Ronald McDonald was definitely made to market to kids as was The Hamburglar, Grimace and the rest of the gang. We should not be marketing to kids much at all and definitely not junk food that can be bought for small change. Kids are incapable of making good purchasing decisions for the most part, it's why they are marketed to so heavily. Doesn't it bother you that part of the success of the American economy over the last 30 years has been on the backs of increasingly overweight children?

#36 Posted by Superkenon (1394 posts) -

@CL60 said:

I hate when people are so massively against something that is optional.

I know, right? For instance, I've never understood all this rage against cocaine. Who are they to get their knickers in a twist when someone does it? It's optional! Some people ought to just mind their own business. I still think it's ridiculous that we can't market cigarettes to kids.

#37 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4643 posts) -

Dear McDonalds,

I can't be arsed to raise my kids, I jus wan' the benefit money, so you're gonna aff to do it for me. Stop marke'ing your un'elffy grub to 'em 'coz then I aff to buy it for 'em 'coz I'm a weak, fat arsed cow 'oo can't tell me kids "no" an' my 'usband don't really give a shit so long as 'ee gets to watch the footie on a saturday.

Yours Sincerely,

Mrs. GunslingerPanda

#38 Posted by mandude (2669 posts) -

Kind of on the fence about this one. I'm all for consumer responsibility, but if parents should exercise more control over how easily they give in to their children, then it's kind of proof that children shouldn't be allowed to decide on this matter for themselves, so why are we marketing towards them if we can admit that?

That said, McDonald's in Ireland doesn't use Ronald and they've done over all their buildings, and they're actually half way decent now.

#39 Posted by DriveupLife (909 posts) -

Health official: "Uh... McDonald's corp? Can you... Pretty pretty please stop using Ronald McDonald in your advertising? It's like... Bad for the kinds and stuff..." McDonald's Corp: "Sure! Of course we will stop using a part of our billion dollar brand recognition labels to make you feel better! Oh wait, what country are we in? That's right, America! We'll do what we want that's allowable within the law! So go fuck yourself."

#41 Posted by Hizang (8533 posts) -

Ronald McDonald is so creepy, he has always been creepy.

#42 Posted by Video_Game_King (36062 posts) -

To all the people telling the parents that they're not forced to get the food: do you even have kids?

#43 Posted by Harkat (1100 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

McDonalds does sucker parents into a decision between "Do you want to deal with a crying, screaming child who hates you now" or "do you want to buy some McDonalds?" McDonalds tells children that it's fun to eat their shitty food, and if you aren't eating their shitty food, you're not having fun. Kids don't know shit about flavor or nutrition, all you have to do is make everything shiny and tell them that drinking milkshakes will make them happy and they'll believe it.

So just because McDonalds uses effective marketing, it means parents/kids are not responsible for the effects of eating their food? It's like blaming Snickers for making me fat because I reaaaallly caught onto their TV ad and just had to have em.

#44 Posted by Vegetable_Side_Dish (1724 posts) -

Because that will fix the problem. 

#45 Posted by PeasantAbuse (5138 posts) -

Bring back Grimace and the Hamburglar!

#46 Posted by Brodehouse (9615 posts) -

@idoublespy said:

@Brodehouse said:

No, no. "Bad parenting" is not a child screaming to get what they want. That's just what children do. As video game enthusiasts we rush to kick parents in the junk a little fast, and that isn't their fault. Parents don't cave into the pressure of society, they cave into the pressure of trying to live an adult life with a raging little bastard who won't build empathy until his early 20s. Bad parenting is not having an endless supply of patience.

I don't think retiring Ronald McDonald will solve anything, but McDonalds does rely on hooking kids on McDonalds early, to pressure parents into buying McDonalds instead of anything else.

I can agree with you that most people don't really grasp empathy until they are making their own life, which is usually in their 20's. My son is about to turn 1 in a few days, and even though we still have many years to grow together, I can already admit without being modest that I am a much more "conservative" or "free" parent, then my neighbors and a large percent of the county I live in.

When I was a child and we played kickball in the street we were always polite and never getting into too much trouble, always clearing the road when a car came, and generally having a great time. Today's kids are completely different. They have no etiquette when it comes to respecting others and the space around them. They cruse like sailors and linger in ignorance to society. They are rude to their parents, teachers, neighbors, and even friends. I can't tell you how many times I see children in stores that just bump into me or squeeze through without a simple "excuse me".

There is no denying that children of today just don't give a fuck. Sadly, you can blame Call of Duty and Facebook.

I think you have some rose colored glasses of your behavior as a child. You don't remember ever doing anything rude or disrespectful because children don't understand that they're being rude. Your memory is that your behavior was completely innocuous, just like kids today. Empathy is a social skill you develop as you get old, you weren't born into it either, and you didn't have as much as you think you did, I guarantee you.

And blame Call of Duty and Facebook? Did you have a kid and immediately turn 75? You've just turned into the guy who said that music videos and the telephone ruined your generation. Or rock music and Space Invaders a generation before. Like Facebook, really? Before bratty kids spending their time talking to their friends on Facebook, they talked to their friends on the phone. Was that better? It was the same. Before that they got together and stood around at skate parks, or store fronts, or public parks. Was that better? It was the same. The Call of Duty thing is especially funny. They said the same thing about CounterStrike ten years back, same thing about Doom almost ten years before. Same thing about The Goddamn Nintendo Box ten years before. Same thing about the Arcade Where They're Buying Smokes ten years before. It's the same.

If you went by parents, every generation of kids is worse and harder to raise than the last. It's completely horseshit. It's the usual 'no one has it as hard as me' self-interest that defines us as a social creature. Despite how it might feel, humanity has not progressively got worse every generation since Mesopotamia.

#47 Posted by egg (1450 posts) -

@Video_Game_King said:

To all the people telling the parents that they're not forced to get the food: do you even have kids?

More or less this

Having kids is morally wrong, anyone who is a parent is a terrible person and thus can't be trusted to raise their kids to be healthy and eat well.

So to oppose this is basically implying you want to place more, rather than less, of the grave responsibility of child rearing on the parent, giving them even greater margin of screwing up their kids' lives.

#48 Posted by pw2566ch (480 posts) -

As much as I agree that most of McDonald's food is not necessary, this is something that the parents have to control themselves. They need to learn self-control and take care of their children themselves. If I can do it, why can't other parents?

#49 Posted by Video_Game_King (36062 posts) -

@egg:

I'm just trying to say that it's not so easy to say no, since kids aren't exactly rational beings.

#50 Posted by egg (1450 posts) -

@pw2566ch said:

As much as I agree that most of McDonald's food is not necessary, this is something that the parents have to control themselves. They need to learn self-control and take care of their children themselves. If I can do it, why can't other parents?

Kids shouldn't be guinea pigs for parenting. The fact is you didn't have to earn the right to be a parent or prove in advance you are fit to be one. (unless you adopt, which is WOEFULLY ironic.)

McDonalds has a choice:

a) take on a responsibility to help kids

b) continue monetizing parental incompetenece like they currently do