Food/Challenge Corporate Abuse of Our Food
Countering Fast Food's Health Effects
Fast food is a driving force behind the epidemic of diet-related health conditions, setting our kids up for a lifetime of health problems. Nearly one out of every three children in the U.S. is now overweight or obese.
But that’s not the end of it. The negative effects of fast food on our health include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Liver disease
- Type-2 diabetes
Kid-Focused Marketing Fuels Illness
A growing body of scientific evidence shows reducing junk-food marketing to kids could reduce the rates of diet-related conditions such as childhood obesity and diabetes, sparing the health of millions of children.
To that end, the White House and four U.S. agencies have recommended ending the promotion of junk-food to children. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended a national policy prohibiting junk-food marketing to kids. And, high profile organizations like the World Health Organization have recognized the links between fast-food marketing and our children’s health.
Simply put, the less kids are exposed to fast food marketing, the less likely they are to be susceptible to diet-related diseases as adults.
So we’re leading the call to protect our children’s health. We demand the industry’s most aggressive marketer to children, McDonald’s, retire its iconic clown and the suite of marketing practices it uses to build kids’ life long brand loyalty.
Health Professionals Help Curb Health Crisis
Health professionals have a critical role to play in compelling the fast-food industry to change the way it does business. Thousands have already taken a stand with us.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended a national policy prohibiting junk-food marketing to kids.
- More than 2500 institutions and health professionals have signed an open letter to McDonald’s CEO, calling on the burger giant to end its kid-focused marketing.
Hospitals: Bag the Burger Giant
What’s wrong with this picture? In children’s hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices across the country, kids are being treated for diet-related conditions like diabetes on one floor and offered the world’s most recognized junk food brand on the next.
Health professionals are calling on the administrators of the nation’s leading pediatric institutions to end their contracts with the burger giant and create a more healthful food environment for the children they serve.
Fast Food Feels the Pressure
Already, we can see the impact health professionals are having on the industry. Just a year after hundreds of health professionals stood with us to release an open letter to McDonald's we have seen a dramatic shift in the public climate. Public dialogue and media coverage of this issue have increased multifold, and local policies curbing fast-food influence are being advanced around the country. As a result, the industry is feeling the pressure:
- Jack in the Box, the country’s fifth largest hamburger chain, discontinued toy giveaways.
- Leading food corporations including Olive Garden and Red Lobster voluntarily committed to reduce the amount of fat, salt, sugar, and calories in kids’ meals over the next decade.
- McDonald’s added apple slices to all Happy Meals and is reducing the portion size of its kids’ fries (though, notably, it is still spending hundreds of millions of dollars in marketing its unhealthy brand to children).
Corporate Accountability continues to work with leading health professionals to create a healthy food environment for all our children.