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McDonald’s: Crusader Against Obesity

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MAARSSEN, Netherlands (April 20) – A three-tiered balanced lifestyle initiative by McDonald’s launched this week is the largest initiative so far by the private sector in the fight against obesity in the US. Staged for rollout over the course of 2004, the fast food giant is clearly hoping to reposition itself to the ‘good’ side […]

MAARSSEN, Netherlands (April 20) – A three-tiered balanced lifestyle initiative by McDonald’s launched this week is the largest initiative so far by the private sector in the fight against obesity in the US. Staged for rollout over the course of 2004, the fast food giant is clearly hoping to reposition itself to the ‘good’ side of one of the US’s biggest health battles.

This week McDonald’s has made a very bold move in the battle against obesity: the fast food giant launched a nationwide “balanced lifestyle platform” focused on three significant areas – food choices, education and physical activity.
Under the food choices platform, new product introductions have been made for both adults and children. The education platform will consist of in-restaurant materials such as information-loaded trayliners, an in-school program called “What’s On Your Plate?” featuring Willie Munchright, and Internet-based education including a unique, interactive tool.
Increased physical activity will be encouraged through youth Olympic soccer clinics, a children’s show called “Get Moving with Ronald McDonald,” as well as the nationwide “Go Active! American Challenge,” led by Bob Greene, Oprah Winfrey’s personal trainer.
Such an enormous undertaking and commitment to the country’s health and education is certainly music to the ears of the US Department of Health and Human Services, which has called for the private sector to become more involved in finding solutions to the obesity issue. For the bike-business, this maybe an excellent opportunity to get involved in this scheme: who will be the first to market a McBike? (MH)

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