McDonald’s in the US will no longer be shipping fitness trackers with its Happy Meals. The fast-food giant is discontinuing the cheap step-counters it was set to include in kid’s meals because the plastic bands are giving children rashes.
McDonald’s announced the decision in a statement:
We are voluntarily removing the Step It! Activity Band Happy Meal toys in our restaurants in our United States and Canadian markets. It will no longer be offered as part of our Happy Meals. We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band. Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue. Our restaurants are now offering our youngest guests an alternative Happy Meal toy.
The Happy Meal toy was announced earlier this week, and it was set to be available for four weeks during McDonald’s big marketing push for the Olympic Games. Now, the golden arches will go back to shilling greasy food to children with the help of cartoon characters and other big franchises.
As we previously reported, the step-counter was kind of a bad idea anyway. A cheeseburger Happy Meal is loaded with 3515kj, meaning it would take the average kid about four hours of exercise to burn off. If the average person takes about 1320 steps per kilometre, and walks about 5 km/h, then they’d have to take 26,400 steps before all of the cheeseburger kilojoules are burned off. Gross.
We’re just glad this experiment is finally over. First of all, the fitness tracker was of dubious actual utility. But more importantly, it’s a real distraction from the very real problems with fast food. If you want your kid to live a healthier life — stop buying them McDonald’s. It has almost no nutritional value and can lead to long-term problems like diabetes and obesity.