Here's some news that won't dumbfound you: Kids absolutely love McDonald's. Ask any child if he wants to go there for dinner, and chances are he'll jump up and down ecstatically. But here's some news that is surprising: Kids find food wrapped in McDonald's packaging as better tasting, according to a recent study.
Prior studies have almost exclusively looked at individual advertisements and their influence on the young. But a recent study examined the company's overall influence, from advertising to toys to word of mouth. The study comes at a time when many fast food restaurants are falling under increased scrutiny by experts concerned over the health and obesity of children.
Sixty-three children between the ages of three and five were offered five pairs of food: two sets of burgers, two sets of fries, and so on. One burger, for example, was placed in McDonald's packaging, the other in plain packaging. The children were then asked if the food tasted identical, or if one tasted better than the other. 48% preferred the hamburgers and 70% preferred the fries if under the assumption that the food had come from McDonald's. But the kids even thought that carrots tasted better when coming from the fast food chain. They thought the same of milk too.
The study supports efforts to regulate or ban advertising for unhealthy food directed at children. But a spokesperson from McDonald's said that the company has been working towards more responsible marketing for children. Nevertheless, the study should raise alarm bells in parents, as most of the advertising from McDonald's promotes food with high calories, high fat, and low nutritional value.
Preview some of the lesson material:
Title: Speculate and/or discuss the contents of today's article from its title: "Kids Are Lovin' It!"
Fill in the Blank: Fill in the blank with the correct word.
- Here's some news that won't ( ) you: Kids absolutely love McDonald's.
- Ask any child if he wants to go to McDonald's, and chances are he'll jump up and down ( ).
- Kids find food ( ) in McDonald's packaging as better tasting.
- Prior studies have almost ( ) looked at individual advertisements.
- Fast food restaurants are under increased ( ) by experts over the health of children.
- The children were then asked if the food tasted ( ).
- More preferred the hamburgers if under the ( ) that the food had come from McDonald's.
- The study supports efforts to ( ) or ban advertising for unhealthy food.
- A ( ) said that the company has been working towards responsible marketing.
- Most of the advertising from McDonald's ( ) food with low nutritional value.
post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!
- If you ate fast food every day for one month, what would happen to you? Why do you think so?
- What is the main reason for McDonald's success? Is it their marketing, the taste, or convenience?
- Why do kids love McDonald's so much?
- Is it good or bad that children associate McDonald's with better tasting food? Why do you think so?
- Are fast food companies morally responsible for unhealthy and obese children? Why/not?
Google Search: Type "fast food" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.