Did ya want fries with that?

06Apr10

A mild fracas has erupted in Chicago, where concerned parents and health care groups are raising the spectre of Ronald McDonald being put out to pasture after 50 years of service with the famous burger franchise.
As argued in the Chicago Tribune — and subsequently run in the April 6, 2010 edition of the Hamilton Spectator — though, is it really fair to blame McDonald’s for marketing their products squarely at kids, or should parents share some of the blame for America’s childhood obesity epidemic?
As the Tribune says, “preteen kids don’t drive to McDonald’s”. No, they certainly don’t.
No, parents are the ones taking their children there, and doling out the cash to get kids their saturated fats fix.
The Tribune points out several other company mascots aimed at the youngins: Tony the Tiger, the Lucky Charms leprechaun and others. Eliminating all of these, the Tribune says, would do nothing to solve the problem.
“Bouncing Ronald McDonald won’t make the McNuggets any less appealing,” they argue.
I am inclined to agree. The cries for elimination of a popular advertising character like Ronald McDonald are nothing more than another example in another epidemic sweeping the continent: parents blaming society or a commercial company for their own inaqequate parenting.
So, my hat is off to you, concerned people of Chicago. Way to miss the mark.
Instead of lashing out at the character with the red wig, maybe you should spend some time analyzing how the character you see in the mirror each morning can take more responsibility for his or her own actions.

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