McDonald’s will give fitness trackers in its Happy Meal in the U.S. and Canada for four weeks.
It is called the Step-It, and it is a step counter for kids. It comes in six colors and blinks based on how the user is moving. It is part of a campaign with the goal of getting kids moving.
McDonald’s is not exactly famous for offering fitness food but is making a move against the critics claiming the fast food chain’s business is to provide junk food to the kids.
Is not the first time the fast food restaurant makes something like this. In 2011 McDonald’s started offering fruits and Go-Gurt with the Happy Meals after some time receiving critics for the lack of availability of fresh fruit and vegetables on the menu.
The company also cut the french fries portion in the Happy Meals to less than the half it originally came with.
“PHYSICAL ACTIVITY IS IMPORTANT TO EVERYONE OF ALL AGES. WE VERY MUCH SUPPORT CHILDREN’S WELL-BEING,” said Canada senior marketing manager, Michelle McIlmoyle, in a statement reported by Digital Trends.
According to Columbia Business professor, Michelle Greenwald, McDonald’s move is wholesome and surprising because in marketing today the companies have to surprise people to keep them interested.
A hamburger Happy Meal with kids fries, apples and juice have an approximate of 500 calories. To burn the calories that come with a Happy Meal like this one, it will take approximately two and a half hours of exercise. Considering the average person takes like 2,000 steps per mile and about three miles per hour, the kids would have to take about 15,000 steps before burning the hamburger.
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Although it is not likely the kids will run enough with the Step-It tracker to burn the calories that come with the Happy Meal, it is a way to try to have them doing some exercise again, instead of having them all day seated in a couch playing video games, something that parents complain about their kids these days.
Already problems with the Step-It promotion
McDonald’s Corp. is already removing their Step-It wristband from their Happy Meals after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations possibly associated with the use of the band.
The company said it was investigating the issue and that the plastic fitness bracelet would no longer be offered in the U.S. and Canada.