If you’re going to eat a McDonald’s Happy Meal, you might as well feel good about the steps you take afterward.
The official cheeseburger sponsor of the Olympics is indulging in yet more irony: The fast food giant that’s marketed unhealthy, processed food to kids for decades is now handing out activity trackers as the Happy Meal “toy” in the U.S. and Canada for the next four weeks, Engadget reports.
The Step It! Activity Band is a Fitbit-like gadget that counts a wearer’s “steps” based on their general movement. A McDonald’s ad for the toy shows kids cartwheeling, jumping and jogging to rack up “steps,” while touting a meal that usually includes burgers and fries.
When used with their parents’ help, fitness trackers can be a helpful motivator for some children, Dr. Zooey Goore, a chapter president for the American Academy of Pediatrics, told KQED. Little research has been done so far on kids and fitness trackers, but preliminary studies look promising, Fox News reports.
The move appears to be yet another attempt by McDonald’s to appear healthier while still selling a lot of highly processed and caloric food. In previous months, the company announced it will transition from serving chickens raised on antibiotics used in humans ― which public health experts applauded as a meaningful start toward a goal of eliminating all antibiotics ― and ditching corn syrup in its buns. Unfortunately, the corn syrup will be replaced by regular sugar, meaning that particular move has virtually no benefit at all.
A McDonald’s Happy Meal is far from the healthiest choice you or your kids can make when dining out, but pairing them with an activity tracker seems like just about the best thing McDonald’s can do ― aside from serving healthier food or encouraging kids to eat something else, of course.
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Source: Healthy Living Huffington Post