Congratulations to friend-to-Dietitians For Professional Integrity Bettina Elias Siegel of The Lunch Tray on playing an important role in getting McDonald’s “education” (AKA: free marketing) out of schools.
Elias Siegel has all the details in her latest TLT post.
- “Back in October, I broke a story on The Lunch Tray regarding a new McDonald’s “nutrition education” video for middle and high school students called 540 Meals: Choices Make the Difference. The film documents an experiment by John Cisna, a high school science teacher, who ate nothing but McDonald’s for six months and lost 60 pounds in the process.”
- “But instead of teaching kids as young as age 11 about nutrition, the film is a virtual infomercial for McDonald’s, replete with troubling messages like, “There’s nothing wrong with fast food, there’s nothing wrong with McDonald’s,” as well an express instruction to kids to disregard anything negative they might see on the Internet about fast food or the company.”
- “On October 19th, I decided to start a Change.org petition asking McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook to stop pushing 540 Meals into our children’s schools. To date, that petition has just under 90,000 signatures.”
- “Five days after I started my petition, a particularly damning piece about 540 Meals, Cisna and McDonald’s other aggressive in-school marketing practices appeared on the front page of the Washington Post, “How McDonald’s Is Using Schools to Try to Change What Kids Eat.”
- “Not long after the launch of my petition and the period of intense media scrutiny in October and early November, Cisna stopped tweeting entirely for a period of fifty days. When he resumed tweeting, there were no further mentions of speaking engagements at schools, only appearances before groups of adults.”
- “Minutes ago, the Washington Post published online a follow-up story (a story which will appear in tomorrow’s print paper) that unequivocally confirms McDonald’s pulled the plug on the entire Cisna/540 Meals in-school program – and that it did so last fall, right around the time of my initial Lunch Tray posts, our Change.org petition and the Washington Post’s original front page report.”
Well done, Bettina! Meanwhile, McDonald’s continues to be a sponsor of some state dietetic associations. Just last month, it was a gold sponsor at the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference. Make your voices heard, RDs.