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McDonald’s Company: Marketing and Obesity Case Study

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Updated: May 26th, 2020

As cases of obesity among children and young people increase throughout the world, a focus has turned on the need to reduce the amount of junk foods available in the market. One way of doing this is to ensure that marketers reduce the amount of junk foods in the market, especially products targeting children in various nations. Another important method adopted by various governments across the world involves prohibiting direct advertisements that attract children’s attention. However, none of these strategies has shown evidence of reducing cases of obesity by a significant margin. On the other hand, global fast food marketers have faced accusations for their contribution to the obesity problem. In fact, reports indicate that more than 1 billion people are overweight with more than 400 million considered obese (Cateora, Philip, Gilly and Graham 425).

Despite the campaigns to reduce the amount of junk foods in the market and discourage people from taking such foods, the trend is increasing. Reports show that the rate of obesity is on the rise. Mcdonald’s, the global marketer of fast foods, has become the major subject of discussion in reference to the rising cases of obesity. The company’s massive and aggressive advertisement, multiple locations in the world and food content have attracted massive debate. In many parts of the world, governments have established measures to control the problem of obesity, but in most cases, McDonald’s seems to be the prime target. Does the company need to change its marketing models, branding, food content and advertisement to fit with the modern health demands?

In Europe, McDonald’s and other companies in the fast food industry face an uphill task in convincing the market to continue taking their food products. While the companies are increasing their presence in almost every city and town, governments, medical and health bodies, as well as other enthusiasts, are increasingly targeting McDonald’s and similar corporations. In Europe, for example, various governments have attempted to ban advertisement of junk food, especially those that target children (Cateora, Philip, Gilly and Graham 427). Others have forced such companies as McDonald’s to reduce the amount of fats in food they sell to children or reduce their advertisements targeting children. In Scandinavian countries, for instance, people are made to perceive the effects of fast foods as equal to the harm of tobacco.

The media in Europe and America is awash with blames targeting McDonald’s and other related companies for their contribution to health problems. For instance, the UK film “Super Size Me” accuses McDonald’s of perpetrating and increasing the incidences of obesity problem in the country. These and other attacks on the company have forced it to initiate strategies to convince the market that its food is healthy. For instance, McDonald’s has initiated different campaigns to advertise new and healthy products, such as low-fat foods and low sugar drinks. In addition, it has initiated campaigns to encourage people to “lead active lives” for avoiding overweight and obesity. In addition, it has reduced the resources used to target children in its ads for junk foods.

Despite this, such efforts have not saved the company from global accusations for increased rates of obesity and related health conditions. For instance, the impact of Prince Williams of the UK when he accused the company of obesity in his Middle East tour is negative to the company. Such accusations may force the company to face growth problems in the future, especially if it fails to develop better strategies to convince the world that it does not contribute to the health problem. Therefore, McDonald’s needs an overhaul of its business strategies to sustain growth.

Works Cited

Cateora, Philip, Mary Gilly and John Graham. International marketing. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'McDonald’s Company: Marketing and Obesity'. 26 May.

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