Reality Check: Should Ronald McDonald Retire?

By Ben Swann email | bio

The group is called Corporate Accountability International.  They have already gotten rid of Joe Camel.  Now they say it is time for Ronald McDonald to retire,  because he is fueling childhood obesity.

So how much influence does Ronald McDonald have?

The mascot for McDonalds has been in that role since 1971.  Ronald is second most recognized character by children worldwide.  He is second only to Santa Claus.

Corporate Accountability International is pressuring McDonald's at its next shareholders meeting on Thursday to end the use of Ronald because he advocates unhealthy eating in children and encourages bad habits they say.

In 2004, McDonald's christened Ronald as a "balanced, active lifestyles ambassador".  He was working out and training for the Olympics.

A company spokesman says "Ronald is not retiring," and that he is still the "heart and soul" of Ronald McDonald House Charities which provides free or inexpensive housing for families who must travel to get medical treatment for a child.

Here's what you need to know.

Are Big Macs not a healthy dinner?  You know that answer.

Are Happy Meals not part of a balanced diet, even when you spring for the apple wedges instead of fries?  You know that too.

At the end of the day, to blame Ronald McDonald for childhood obesity is to give a pass to all the parents who just won't pass by a McDonald's when their kids demand it.

Ronald is a mascot but mom and dad, you should be the boss.

And that is Reality Check.

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