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9 Year-Old Reams Out McDonald’s CEO For Tricking Kids Into Eating Junk Food

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no-junk-foodNine year-old Hannah Robertson, daughter of a nutritional activist, let McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson have it at a recent shareholder’s meeting. You go, girl!

From USA Today:

“There are things in life that aren’t fair — like when your pet dies,” said Hannah, whose voice never wavered. “I don’t think it’s fair when big companies try to trick kids into eating food. It isn’t fair that so many kids my age are getting sick,” she said — blaming McDonald’s for unfairly targeting kids with advertisements for food that isn’t good for them.

 

Hannah ended her time-limited comments, made during the meeting’s question-and-answer session, by pointedly but politely asking: “Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and healthy life?”

Zing!

Thompson responded by listing the “healthy” things McDonald’s does offer, like apple slices and side salads. While this is definitely an improvement over the menu from many years ago, I know the sick practices that go on regarding McDonald’s meat and I’m with Hannah — we’re all being tricked into eating food that’s really, really horrible for us, and it needs to stop.

In my opinion, marketing Happy Meals to children is the same as using cartoons to sell cigarettes. It’s acceptable (albeit stupid) for adults to knowingly harm their bodies because we’re adults, and we have all the information. We smoke and we eat at our own risk. You may not be a vegetarian, but you probably know that the meat industry is not health-driven but profit-driven, meaning they treat living creatures like products to be processed quickly and mercilessly. I  won’t say what I really think of your character if you go on eating meat knowing this, but at the same time, it’s your decision, you’re an adult.

But kids aren’t born knowing these things. Unless their parents tell them, kids are under the impression that Happy Meal Equals Tasty Food Plus Toy. What’s not to love about that? So Hannah makes a really good point: McDonald’s is absolutely tricking kids into thinking a side of apple slices makes it all okay. And this is not okay!

But aside from the huge food issue, I’m just really impressed that a nine year-old girl had the courage to stand up to a corporation (with an “unwavering” voice, according to the article). This Hannah Robertson kid is totally the kind of person I want my daughter to be — opinionated, outspoken and confident. Maybe that’s because I was the opposite, shy and agreeable even when I didn’t agree. It was horrible, feeling like I was powerless. I literally couldn’t look most grownups in the eye.

Not that I’ll be upset if my daughter is shy like me, but I think she’ll be a lot less miserable in general if she is able to assert herself and speak her mind. I imagine that little Hannah’s strength probably came from seeing her own mother speak up, so I guess I’d better start attending some rallies or something!

(photo: FuzzBones / Shutterstock)