Every McDonald’s executive I’ve met who happens to be a parent says something like this: “I don’t let my kids eat at McDonald’s all the time. It’s a treat; we know that.” Yet these same executives, in literature and in public, say that they’re “championing children’s well-being.”
Big Mac is confused. It remains among the world’s most envied brands, yet its unique position means it must — or at least should — lead within the industry. But despite the company’s claims, its tardiness in marketing real, healthful food solidifies Big Mac’s public image as a pusher and profiteer of junk food, incapable of doing (or unwilling to do) the right thing. Envied by the competition, beloved by at least some customers, McDonald’s is reviled by those who see it as setting undesirable eating patterns in children, patterns that remain for life.
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