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Ronald McDonald--Health Ambassador or Junk Food Dealer?

Ronald McDonald--Health Ambassador?

Theme: Personal Growth
Air Date: 2/22/05
Producer: Daniel Costello
Description: McDonald's famous clown, Ronald, is slated to go into grade schools as a "health ambassador" to promote exercise.  Some experts say the presence of this clown will just entice kids to eat more junk.

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Host Intro: (SHOW LENGTH:  APPROX 15 MINUTES)McDonalds, maker of the Big Mac, fries, supersized sodas and milkshakes, will now send Ronald McDonald the Clown to grade schools to educate kids on how to be healthy by exercising, exercising, exercising.  McDonalds Corporation has given their red-headed clown the title of chief happiness officer.  They are calling him the company's ambassador for an active, balanced lifestyle.  Company spokespeople say, "Ronald does not promote food, but fun and activity.  The McDonald's experience."  This is the same McDonalds that last summer put vending machine DVDs into stores throughout the Denver metro area.  Additionally, McDonalds is under fire from a reinstated lawsuit where two teenagers claim they got fat because McDonalds downplays the health risks of their food.  Critics charge that having Ronald McDonald promote like Joe Camel going in to schools to promote breathing exercises to reduce the risk of smoking cigarettes.  But the American Academy of Pediatrics has approved McDonald's plan to do outreach to schools.  Why are health experts divided about McDonalds?  Up next, How on Earth's Daniel Costello will have a live conversation with Dr. Eric Westman of Duke University.  Dr. Westman is an expert on obesity, low carb diets and smoking cessation programs.

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