You choose

But free speech, choice, choosing, freedom, liberty, choice!

From the Guardian:

McDonald’s has been accused of launching a “grotesque marketing strategy” that endangers public health by encouraging customers to eat more fast food in exchange for prizes such as fries, desserts and fizzy drinks.

Tom Watson, the shadow culture, media and sport secretary, has urged the company to ditch its Monopoly at McDonald’s promotion in light of the childhood obesity crisis in the UK, branding the competition “a danger to public health”. His demand comes as the government tries to tackle childhood obesity with a plan to reduce the amount of advertising for foods high in fat, sugar and salt seen by children. Options being examined include a ban on such adverts on television, online streaming sites and social media until after the 9pm watershed.

There’s a lot of childhood obesity in the UK (as there is in the US).

Watson has written to McDonald’s UK chief executive Paul Pomroy calling for the forthcoming Monopoly promotion to be cancelled. “The UK has an obesity crisis,” he writes. “Almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese. A quarter of children in England are overweight or obese by age five, rising to over a third by the end of primary school. Obesity and a sugar-filled diet cause a variety of serious health conditions, including Type 2 diabetes which costs the NHS 10% of its budget every year to treat.

“In this context, it is appalling that your company’s Monopoly marketing ploy encourages people to eat more unhealthy foods by offering sugar-filled desserts as rewards.”

But McDonald’s has a reply.

A McDonald’s spokesperson said: “Customer choice is at the heart of everything we do, including our popular Monopoly promotion. This year’s campaign sees customers receive prize labels on carrot bags, salads and our Big Flavour Wraps range, and we have removed the incentive to ‘go large’, providing the same number of prize labels and chances to win on a medium meal as you get on a large.”

Ahhhh yes, it’s all about choice…that is, choice shaped by relentless advertising and years of research on what flavors get people to come back for more and more and more. In other words it’s not about choice at all, it’s about getting people to buy as much of the product as possible by whatever concealed methods the corporations can come up with. They advertise for a reason, they put on contests for a reason, they use a lot of salt, sugar and fat for a reason, and the reason is the opposite of choice: the reason is they want people to buy their product.

Don’t insult us.

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