by Anna Scanlon, Natural Society:
In a move to help counteract the contribution McDonald’s makes to childhood obesity, the corporate giant made the decision to help young people keep track of their steps by including fitness trackers in their Happy Meals. The watch-style wearable came in 6 different colors and was meant as a fun way to help children keep track of their physical activity. However, due to recent concerns of skin irritation, the Step It, as it was dubbed, will no longer be included in Happy Meals.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 18% of children ages 6 to 11 are classified as overweight. Obese youth, according to the CDC, have a 70% higher risk of a cardiovascular event than their thinner peers. The obesity epidemic we’re seeing is largely in part due to the imbalance of calories kids are burning versus consuming (and much of this consumption is junk food, lacking nutrition).
McDonald’s, the fast food chain that is often criticized for its calorie- and saturated fat-laden meals (among other questionable ingredients), decided to try and do something to counteract its influence over childhood obesity by including the Step It trackers that help children count their steps and blink depending on how fast the child is moving. However, the plan seems to have backfired and the Step Its, which once seemed like a great idea, are now voluntarily recalled by McDonald’s.
Although these activity trackers were meant to be both a marketing push for the Golden Arches and a way to get kids involved in and excited about the Olympic games, they have been voluntarily recalled over the concern that they might irritate children’s skin.
A spokesperson for McDonald’s said in a statement:
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