Charmaine Ruddock directs Bronx Health REACH, a coalition of 50 community and faith-based organizations, funded by the Centers for Disease Control’s REACH 2010 Initiative to address racial and ethnic health disparities.
Last week, Julie Deardorff, health and fitness reporter at the Chicago Tribune wrote ” The obesity epidemic: Can parents say ‘no?’ in response to a comment by McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner. Skinner, in responding to a request at the shareholders recent annual meeting to assess its policy on childhood obesity, stated that “many choices …fit within the balanced active lifestyle.’” Skinner continued his remarks by saying that. “It is up to parents to choose” and “it is their responsibility to do so.” What Skinner should have gone on to say is that McDonald’s multi-billion dollar marketing and advertising has as its sole purpose the hijacking of parents’ choice and the elimination of their responsibility. “Happy Meals” is McDonald’s black eye to Skinner’s parent choice and responsibility.