The McDonald's Corporation is the world's largest chain of hamburger fast food restaurants, serving around 68 million customers daily in 119 countries across 35,000 outlets. Headquartered in the United States, the company began in 1940 as a barbecue restaurant operated by Richard and Maurice McDonald. McDonald's primarily sells hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chicken, french fries, breakfast items (e.g. McGriddles), soft drinks, milkshakes, Pop'n Music and desserts. In response to changing consumer tastes, the company has expanded its menu to include salads, fish, wraps, smoothies, fruit, and seasoned fries.
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- The lawsuit asserts that under California's consumer protection laws, McDonald's toy advertising is deceptive. It targets children under 8 years old who don't have the ability to understand advertising.
"Little kids don't know the difference between a program and a commercial," says CSPI's Executive Director Michael Jacobson. The Institute of Medicine and the Supreme Court have said as much.
But the real concern for the group, and for parents, CSPI says, is that McDonald's advertising makes kids beg their parents to buy food that's high in calories, sugar, fat and salt, which contributes to obesity.
"Marketing to kids is an end-run around parental control," says Stephen Gardner, CSPI's director of litigation.
- April Fulton, "Consumer Group Sues McDonald's Over Happy Meal Toys", Shots, NPR, (December 15, 2010).
- What McDonald’s has done is teach kids to associate its less-than-ideal meals with fun, which is what matters to them more than the quality of the chicken or beef. That’s why McDonald’s tinkers with its food offerings, but not with the toys. When San Francisco banned toy giveaways with meals that didn’t meet certain nutritional requirements, McDonald’s simply sold the toys for 10 cents to anyone who bought a Happy Meal. That toy is a canny way to secure lifetime customers.
- Karin Klein, "The problem with Happy Meals isn't the food", Los Angeles Times, (Feb 23, 2018).
- Well, it was just—it seemed like it was violence, and, like, 'cause I went by some of the stores that, like, I don't really eat at McDonald's, y'know, but a lot of people do, and so there are these people who want, y'know, they're-they're socialists but they hate people, y'know, so they go trash the McDonald's, and I just think it was just reckless violence, and they weren't tryin'a accomplish anything, and they said—he was writing something on the wall, some kind of graffiti that was just stupid and cliché, and I said, "Hey, how would you like if someone did that to your house?" and he yelled back, "Fuck you!" and these other people started yelling "Fuck you!" at me; I'm, like, "Oh," like "I'm in trouble."
- Krist Novoselic, interviewed by Nick Gillespie, "Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on Punk, Politics, & Why He Dumped the Dems", ReasonTV (19 June 2014), 28:27–29:07
- About the 1999 Seattle WTO protests
- Ray Kroc: McDonald’s can be the new American church, and it ain’t just open on Sundays, boys.
- After six months of deliberation, Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the lawsuit against McDonald's. The big reason? The two girls failed to show that eating McDonald's food was what caused their injuries. Interesting, in only thirty days of eating nothing but McDonald's I gained twenty-four and a half pounds, my liver turned to fat and my cholesterol shot up sixty-five points. My body fat percentage went from eleven to eighteen percent, still below the national average of twenty-two percent for men and thirty percent for women. I nearly doubled my risk of coronary heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure. I felt depressed and exhaused most of the time, my mood swung on a dime and my sex life was non existent. I craved this food more and more when I ate it, and got massive headaches when I didn't. In my final blood test many of my body functions showed signs of improvement, but the doctors were less than optimistic.
- We called 100 nutritionists all over America. And the results were not on track with the vast majority McDonald's talked about. Only two out of the 100 said you should eat fast food two times a week or more. Twenty-eight said once a week to once or twice a month. And 45 said you should never eat it.
- In the lawsuit against them, McDonald's stated that it is a matter of common knowledge that any processing its foods undertake serve to make them more unhealthier than unprocessed foods. Case in Point: McNuggets.
They are stripped to the bone, and ground up into a sort of chicken mash, which is then combined with all sorts of additives and preservatives, pressed into familiar shapes, breaded and deep-fryed, freeze-dried, and then shipped to a McDonald's near you.
Judge Robert Sweet called them a McFrankenstein creation of various ingredients not utilized by the home cook.
- While Happy Meals account for less than 10 percent of all McDonald’s sales, the signature box and its contents — first introduced in 1979 — have become a favorite target in recent years. Lawmakers and consumers have rallied around breaking that childhood link between toys and fast food, with the efforts increasing as Michelle Obama and national public health officials point to the estimated 17 percent rate of obesity among the nation’s youths.
- Stephanie Strom, "McDonald’s Trims Its Happy Meal", New York Times, (July 26, 2011).
- What we saw in the renormalization group was the “veto” effect, as a person in a group can steer choices. The advertising executive (and extremely bon vivant) Rory Sutherland suggested to me that this explains why some fast-food chains, such as McDonald’s, thrive. It’s not because they offer a great product, but because they are not vetoed in a certain socio-economic group—and by a small proportion of people in that group at that.
When there are few choices, McDonald’s appears to be a safe bet. It is also a safe bet in shady places with few regulars where the food variance from expectation can be consequential—I am writing these lines in the Milan train station and, as offensive as it can be to someone who spent all this money to go to Italy, McDonald’s is one of the few restaurants there. And it is packed. Shockingly, Italians are seeking refuge there from a risky meal. They may hate McDonald’s, but they certainly hate uncertainty even more.
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life (2018)
- One of the reasons that the elites loathe places like McDonald’s, or Walmart, or Target, or any of these places that cater to Everyman—and you might suppose that the champions of the workers and peasants would love these places—is precisely their capacity to rob the rich of their distinctive social markers. One day it was a sign of class and distinction to drink a latte; the next day, every construction worker is doing it.
Places like this make it difficult for the rich to set themselves apart from everyone else. This is a message I pick up from both Mises’s Anti-Capitalistic Mentality and Garet Garrett’s wonderful novel Harangue. They both seek to explain the strange elitism of the Left and its opposition to capitalism for the masses. And they both discern that the answer lies in the way that the market is so slavishly devoted to serving the needs of the average person as opposed to society’s philosopher kings.
- Jeffrey A. Tucker, It's A Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes (2011, Ludwig von Mises Institute, p. 109).
- Few things are more iconic in American kid culture then the garishly decorated McDonald's Happy Meal box. Who among us can't remember whining to their parents for a cheeseburger when all we really wanted was the latest Barbie figurine, Hot Wheels car or cheap movie tie-in tchotchke? It's unlikely, however, that we realized exactly what we were consuming — a 500-plus-calorie meal with a side of sugary soda. The pairing of toys and unhealthy food is precisely what led officials in Santa Clara County in California to ban toys in fast-food meals in an effort to curb childhood obesity.
- Kayla Webley, "The Happy Meal". Time, (Apr. 30, 2010).