Author: Dinesh Dhiman
It is not quite often that one of the most powerful CEOs in the world gets confronted by a 9-year old and has to give an explanation. But 9-year old Hannah Robertson did just that at the shareholders meeting of McDonalds on May 23rd!
Bizarre it may seem, but true. Ms. Robertson confronted McDonalds CEO Donald Thompson by saying, ‘It would be nice if you stopped trying to trick kids into wanting to eat your food all the time.’ The 9-year old criticized the nutritional deficiencies in McDonalds’ products and the marketing gimmicks employed by the company to promote its products.
The girl asked the CEO, “Mr. Thompson, don’t you want kids to be healthy so they can live a long and happy life?” She was attending the event with her mother, Kia Robertson, a noted health-food blogger who was there at the event along with a human rights group, Corporate Accountability International. Her mother, Kia Robertson, is an entrepreneur and a health blogger and started the blog ‘Today I ate a Rainbow’ in 2009.
The powerful CEO of one of the world’s biggest brands was certainly taken back with the courage and deftness of the little kid. Thompson denied the allegations saying, “First off, we don’t sell junk food, Hannah,” he said. “My kids also eat McDonald’s. When they were about your size, to my son who is with us today…”
He went on to refute the charges that his company employed unjust marketing efforts to sell its products. “My kids also eat McDonald’s. When they were about your size, to my son who is with us today,” said Mr. Thompson. He stressed on the fact that the company is selling fruits and vegetables in its Happy Meals and that it intends to sell more of them.
Ms. Hannah made a hard-hitting statement, “Something that I don’t think is fair is when big companies try to trick kids into eating food that isn’t good for them by using toys and cartoon characters,” she said. “If parents haven’t taught their kids about healthy eating then the kids probably believe that junk food is good for them because it might taste good.”
The ever rising obesity levels have become a cause of concern for health experts. Numerous studies have pointed at junk foods and carbonated drinks as the leading causes of obesity and a plethora of other health scares. It is but natural that fast food chains like McDonalds to come under intense scrutiny.