Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Junk food foes to McDonald's: Retire Ronald!

Protestors in Chicago urge pedestrians to support calling for McDonald's to retire Ronald McDonald, claiming the mascot markets unhealthy food to children that leads to childhood obesity.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Ronald McDonald, the orange and white face of the popular fast-food chain that bears his name, is under attack by nutrition advocates who want him to be retired.
Their beef, so to speak, is that McDonald's uses clowns and toys to sell unhealthy food to impressionable children. The company argues that its marketing practices are responsible, and that its food is "high quality."
The push to retire Ronald is being led by a group called Corporate Accountability International, which plans to introduce a resolution calling for the clown's ouster at the company's annual shareholder meeting Thursday.
"Through this initiative, the public health community is rallying behind a simple message to McDonald's: stop making the next generation sick -- retire Ronald and the rest of your junk food marketing to kids," said Steven Rothschild, a professor at Rush Medical College and a backer of the resolution.
McDonald's is already being sued by a group of consumers and health care professionals over the toys that come in the Happy Meals marketed to kids. The group filed a class action suit late last year in California that claims the company's marketing practices violate state's consumer protection laws.
In addition, a group of Philadelphia nuns filed a proxy resolution in March asking McDonald's to investigate its "policy response" to concerns about the link between fast food and childhood obesity.
McDonalds stands by Ronald and says that it is committed to children's health and nutrition.
"We are committed to responsible advertising and take our communications to children very seriously," McDonald's said in a statement.
The company has argued that it has introduced healthy alternatives such as Apple Dippers and low-fat milk in Happy Meals. But critics say the company still serves French fries in the vast majority of its kid-friendly combo meals.
 Source: CNN Money

Vocabulary WordsRead the vocabulary words and the example sentences. Make your own sentence using the vocabulary word/s afterwards.

bears (v.): uses or carries
·         My daughter in-law bears my last name.
advocate (n.): person who speaks or writes in support or defense of a person, cause, etc.
·         She is an advocate of peace in her country.
beef (v. or n.): complain
·         Don’t beef! You sound like a kid.
·         Their beef is that McDonald's uses clowns and toys to sell unhealthy food to children.
resolution (n.): a solution to a problem
·         The government coulnd’t think of any resolution.
ouster (n.): removal from a position
·         An ouster of a law can be made.
initiative (n. or adj.): an introductory act or step; leading action
·         She lacks the initiative in making friends.
·         Initiative steps were taken to stop manufacture of the drug.
rally (v.): to come together for common action or effort
·         The disunited party rallied in time for the election campaign.
backer (n.): supporter
·         I am a backer of this campaign.
sue (v.): to seek justice or right from (a person) by legal process; to bring an action against someone
·         The woman will sue him because of kidnapping.
class action (n.): a legal case where a small number of people can sue on behalf of a larger group
·         Dads launch class action against Mumsnet.
nun (n.): a catholic woman who has taken vows committing her to a spiritual life
·         My sister wants to become a nun.
proxy (adj.): the authority to act for another/ a person empowered to act for another
·         Members may appoint a proxy to vote on their behalf.
obesity (n.): the condition of being very very fat
·         My friend doesn't know how to manage obesity.

Comprehension Check: Read and answer the questions based on the article.
1.    Why do advocates want McDonald’s to be closed?
2.    What is McDonald’s response to the people?
3.    What are other food alternatives that McDonald’s offer?

Agree or Disagree: Explain your answer.
1.    Junk food is really junk.
2.    Junk foods are really delicious!
3.    Chocolate is a junk food.


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