Out of Control Child Obesity

Let’s face it, kids in America are fat.  Hell, America is fat.  Who is to blame?  We could blame fast food companies who have targeted children as consumers.  It could be obese parents who contribute to their child’s weight problem.  It might be schools that have cut out their physical education programs because of budget–who knows?

 Where are the ethics in obesity?  McDonald’s has been sued by some people who claim eating the food has made them fat.  Those same “fat” people have said the fast food chain implies that the food is part of a healthy diet.  I believe this is one of those instances that people only hear what they want to hear.  Are these people saying that they do not have the ability to protect themselves?  McDonald’s has implemented healthy foods into its menu. 

 On the other side of the spectrum, some people fail to realize the good that McDonald’s has done.  The Ronald McDonald House Charities , located in about 50 counties, has used more than $440 million to provide a “home way from home” specializing in pediatrics to help families with serious ill children.  Children who are receiving care at nearby hospitals have the opportunity to stay at the Ronald McDonald House and “escape the tension of a hospital atmosphere.” 

So is McDonald’s a fast food chain that has contributed to the epidemic of child obesity in the U.S.?  Look at all of the stories on the Ronald McDonald House Charities Web site from families who have nothing but good stories about how the charity has helped.  Some could argue that it’s ironic that the food at McDonald’s could potentially put children in such a harm’s way that they will sooner or later need the charity. 

 It’s important for companies to shed negative press with positive.  There are the groups out there such as anti McDonald’s who claim the fast food restaurant is such a horrible place.  Then, there are the public relations professionals writing press releases and increasing publicity to shed light on the fact that McDonald’s has done positive things with its profits. 

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2 Responses to Out of Control Child Obesity

  1. Heather Bing says:

    The fast food situation continues to be frustrating in the PR world. As you pointed out, it’s difficult to get anyone to hear or care about the positive messages when the ‘scandal’ of obesity is driving headlines. Apparently people are no longer accountable for their own actions, a.k.a. being unhealthy. This whole situation is also being taken to another level. I heard that New York is considering a ban on all fast-food advertising, also to combat obesity, especially in children. This problem is now facing not only public relations, but advertising and marketing as well. Ridiculous? I think so.

  2. Nicole Weible says:

    Yea, I actually read now that there are laws in place that protect these kinds of people. Obesity in children cannot always be helped because some fatty foods are served in schools, and parents have no control over what the child buys. However, adults are a whole differnet story. I don’t believe they have any kind of an excuse.

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