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Monday, December 10, 2007

McDonalds Advertising On Report Cards - Get Good Grades - Get a Happy Meal!

mcdonalds school report cards

About 20 million children in the United States qualify as overweight or clinically obese, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and now 37 schools in Seminole County, Fla. are contributing to it through a corporate-sponsorship program that awards high-achieving students with McDonald Happy Meals.

The "report card incentive," as the program is known, is explained on the front of specially produced envelopes bearing the image of Ronald McDonald and in which the report cards for every student in the county's 37 elementary schools are sent home.

The incentives are described as "food prizes," and a report card of all A's and B's or an attendance record blemished by just two absences is enough to earn a student a free Happy Meal.


John Banzhaf III, a law professor George Washington University says
The next thing the school should offer is cigarettes and alcohol. … Why aren't schools selling Hustler or Playboy magazines out of vending machines too? Schools shouldn't be selling things that endanger children just to make a buck.

mcdonalds report card

The Campaign For a Commercial-Free Childhood released a press release demanding that McDonalds immediatly stop advertising on children's report cards

this promotion takes in-school marketing to a new low. It bypasses parents and targets children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a happy meal
says Susan Linn, the director of CCFC and psychologist at Judge Baker Children's Center.

the press release states the Happy Meal promotion explicitly mentions cheeseburgers, French fries, and soft drinks as options. Happy Meals featured on the report card can contain as many 710 calories, 28 grams of fat, or 35 grams of sugar.

one parent was quoted as saying that her daughter worked so hard to get good grades and now thinks she has earned a happy meal. The parent has to be the "bad guy" and explain that McDonalds is not the kind of food that they eat.

what is happening in our schools?

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At 2:11 PM, Anonymous Jessie said...


I mean, it is a fantastic idea to reward children for their hard work and good grades, but is this really the way to do it?

I'm hoping these smart kids will make smart choices..
fruit instead of fries..water instead of soda...no cheese on their burgers..


what color is the sky where I live, right?

At 9:42 PM, Blogger Scott said...

Perhaps it's a different system there, but isn't it usual for the parents to see the report cards before the children (if the children get to see them at all)?

Putting the 'Happy Meal' decision in the hands of adults is quite a different thing.

At 2:09 PM, Anonymous Rob said...

I'm not sure how it is now, but when I was growing up, we'd get the report card at school - could look at it and carried it home to our parents.

I think I remember that they had to be signed by the parents and then returned? to prove that the parents saw them?

I this article, the kids carry the report card home in the envelope just like I did as a kid

At 5:26 AM, Anonymous NLP Trainer said...

Please tell me this a joke?

As a former obese person, and someone who has read "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser...I know it is not.

The book talks a great deal about why McDs markets to kids, the majority of playgrounds in the US are owned by....McDonalds. Kids are to be marketed at in schools, and cafeteria's. McDonalds needs to be linked to happy places like Disney Land. To hero's in their happy meals.

The strategy is other then selling to kids, it is about getting kids hooked early. Getting them in to the habit of eating there at a young age.

Naturally the association between McDonalds having a party, a good time is like pavlov's dog.

As an adult, every time they need to feel good, insert McDonalds.

I actually spend my living these days de-programming people. To let there brain go "here" instead of "there" where it comes to weight loss and food.

At 4:33 PM, Blogger American Muslima Writer said...

Ahh now I'm duly ashamed... though i certainly don't agree with reawrding kids with food to make them get good grades (think eat food to feel happy). I take my daughter to McD's for a treat but she actaully goes for the toy not the food. (I'm the one ordering her to finish her nuggets) Now by the comments and my better awareness I'm ashamed to be making mcD's seem like a treat.


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