March 23rd, 2012

Jim Skinner's Tenure: Big Profits, Bad for Public Health

By Sara Deon, Value [the] Meal director, Corporate Accountability International
MarketWatch, WSJ

Last night, McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner announced his retirement after eight years at the burger giant’s helm. Skinner’s tenure has been marked by both growing profitability and a marked decline in McDonald’s brand affinity.

On Skinner’s watch:

U.S. childhood obesity rates increased with dramatic increases and disparities among groups at which McDonald’s focuses much of its target marketing. Among children and teens, today about 21 percent of Hispanics and 24 percent of blacks are obese compared with 14 percent of non-Hispanic whites.

A growing number of studies have linked McDonald’s-style fast food and its marketing to today’s epidemic of diet-related disease, with scientists from the Institutes of Medicine to the American Academy of Pediatrics concluding that ending junk food marketing directed at kids could spare the health of millions of children.

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