McDonald's to stop distributing Happy Meal activity trackers


19 August, 2016

McDonald's always gives toys with Happy Meals so that parents and children keep coming back for more, and now it has started giving out activity trackers with the Happy Meals. Denver7 visited a Denver McDonald's location Wednesday to check out the Happy Meal gadget.

The contrarian efforts of McDonald's to combine Happy Meals with health have come a cropper, after the fast food chain chose to drop an activity tracker it was giving to kids along with fries and McNuggets. Steps show on an LCD and the activity is indicated by a light that blinks more rapidly as (theoretically) the child exercises.

Those who tested the Step-It reported that it was a bit like McDonald's food: initially appealing but nearly instantly disappointing (as even a mild bump registered as activity) and quickly passed to a waste receptacle.

McDonald's confirmed reports of complaints were "limited" but would not elaborate on how many they had received.

"In marketing today you need to surprise people and jar them in order to reframe their thinking", Greenwald said in a phone interview when the bands were still available. Every Happy Meal sold in the USA and Canada will include one of six wrist-worn brightly colored pedometers. The latest item to be included in the iconic box is considerably more high-tech however - a fitness tracker.

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The company also cut the french fries portion in the Happy Meals to less than the half it originally came with.

"Physical activity is important to everyone of all ages".

McDonald's was marketing the wristbands in the U.S. and Canada as a way to help keep children active.

McDonald's has began removing the fitness tracker toys from Happy Meals over reports of irritation when used.

While these efforts may be lauded in some quarters, they have been criticized in others.

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