McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson emphatically denied that his company contributes to childhood obesity.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Thompson implied that parents are responsible for what their kids are eating:
“Here is question. I am parent of two children. I know what my kids eat. I would bring my kids to McDonald’s then and I will bring them now because the food it high-quality, safe, and they have choices. If my kids want to have fries, I will let my kids have fries if they are active and if they are moving. There is nothing wrong with having some fries. Burgers and fries are an American staple.”
He also defended brand mascot Ronald McDonald, which some have accused of manipulating children into wanting to consume high-fat food at McDonald’s:
“I say when was the last time you saw Ronald [McDonald] eating food marketed to your children? You have not seem him do that. That was a big thing. People attack Ronald McDonald… He is a clown. He represents our charity.”
Thompson also suggested that people try the brand’s salads–though he didn’t vouch for their popularity:
“I would just…get to know what we have. We have great side salads. They don’t represent a lot of our sales but we have great salads. We have a snack wraps and smaller sizes. We have apples and smoothies.”
A 9-year-old girl named Hannah caused a stir by asking Thompson why he didn’t offer healthier foods for kids at the company’s shareholder meeting in May.
“We don’t sell junk food, Hannah,” Thompson said at the meeting, adding that his kids grew up eating McDonald’s and also enjoy dining at home.
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