Monday, May 23. 2011
In an open letter to the McDonald's corporation that was printed in six metropolitan newspapers on Wednesday, over 550 health professionals and organizations asked CEO Jim Skinner to stop marketing unhealthy food to children, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Triggered by the growing number of young people who have developed ailments due to their diets - and the strain those increases put on healthcare professionals and health insurance costs - the letter seeks to retire Ronald McDonald and hold the restaurant chain responsible for how it promotes its products.
"We ask that you heed our concern and retire your marketing promotions for food high in salt, fat, sugar, and calories to children, whatever form they take – from Ronald McDonald to toy giveaways," the letter pleads. "Our children and healthcare system will benefit from your leadership on this issue."
For a company that spends nearly $2 billion on advertising each year, putting a halt to child-centered ads is no easy task because, as the letter states, it is such a large part of its business model.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the fast-food giant released a statement that said they take the way they market to children seriously and that parents were pleased with the available choices.
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