The "Go Active!" Happy Meal

This is not from The Onion:

"McDonald's adult Happy Meal arrives: The Go Active! package for grown-ups includes salad, water and even exercise tips."

The adult meal, priced at $5.99 a box, includes a choice of McDonald's four premium salads, a "stepometer" that clips on a belt and counts the number of steps you take in a day, and a "Step With It!" booklet with tips for walking and working out.

McDonald's new CEO, Charlie Bell, who replaced Jim Cantalupo after his sudden death of a heart attack, underwent surgery last week for colorectal cancer.

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50 Responses:

  1. crackmonkey says:

    In other McMockery :

    It's even playing all over SF. It was good too.

  2. brad says:

    Damn you're getting a lot of boingboing love today.

  3. mattlazycat says:

    So you can get a cheese-burger for less than a dollar, but you have to pay five for a salad? Way to promote the healthy lifestyle, McDonalds!

    • charles says:

      Given that the salads have more fat than the cheeseburger, this might be a subtle hint.

      • otterley says:

        Please read the actual nutrition facts -- only the fried chicken salads have that much fat. What did you expect?

        One thing I'm starting to learn more and more these days is to never blindly trust anything reporters write.

        • macguyver says:

          The reporters aren't wrong. The article is from the UK, and you can't compare US nutrition facts to the UK menu.

          Says the article ... latest line in healthy looking salads may contain more fat than its hamburgers.

          According to the UK menu:

          Cheeseburger: 11.5g fat
          Hamburger: 7.7g fat
          Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad with dressing & croutons: 30g fat
          Crispy Chicken Caesar Salad without dressing & croutons: 17.6g fat
          Crispy Chicken Ranch Salad with dressing: 28.6g fat
          Crispy Chicken Ranch Salad without dressing: 22.1g fat
          Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad with dressing & croutons: 21.4g fat
          Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad without dressing & croutons: 8.8g fat
          Grilled Chicken Ranch Salad with dressing: 19.9g fat
          Grilled Chicken Ranch Salad without dressing: 13.4g fat

          All of the new salads have more fat than a hamburger, and all but the Grilled Chicken Caesar without dressing & croutons have more fat than the cheeseburger.

          One thing I've learned is never to blindly trust anything LJ posters write.

          • otterley says:

            The stats are about the same, and yes, I'll concede that their salads have more fat than a single cheeseburger.

            But that's not a fair comparison.

            If you compare food mass, you'll find that the meal-size salads are bigger than the plain cheeseburgers. This is consistent with the common-sense recognition that almost nobody orders a single cheeseburger at McDonald's as a meal.

            On the other hand, if you compare food choices of like masses, such as a meal salad with a Big Mac, or two cheeseburgers and fries, then things start to seem a bit more reasonable.

            The fact is, people should be counting calories -- not fat alone. Hell, a large Coke adds 200-300 calories -- you could eat another Grilled Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad instead and not be much worse off.

            • macguyver says:

              True, and no one said the comparison was fair.

              Tho, the Crispy Chicken Caesar (w/dressing & croutons) has more fat than 4 hamburgers. And that may be unexpected for the average consumer.

            • cfs_calif says:

              You should be avoiding the super-mega-99 billion oz. Cokes with the high fructose corn syrup. In general, you should just avoid McD's in general.


            • violentbloom says:

              no one has mentioned the cost of product to product price ratio...
              lettuce vs dead cow...hurm I think they're making a killing on that salad for 6 bucks vs a buck for a burger.

              • otterley says:

                I would imagine not, after spoilage is factored in. Produce spoils quickly, while meat can be frozen and buns have preservatives added to lenghten their shelf life.

    • irma_vep says:

      That is so true. I often think how much more expenisve eating healthier is than eating junk food.

    • pfister_ says:

      Making unhealthy food tasty is much cheaper than making healthy food tasty.

      And if you're not concerned about taste, then the economics of mass production are still working against you: there are more people who want to buy cheap, tasty junk food than people who want to buy cheap, unpalatable health food.

      • aprilized says:

        It is true that buying organic food for example, is more expensive...and buying crappy white wonder bread is cheaper than good bakery multigrain or whole wheat....But saying that making crappy food taste better is cheaper, is simply wrong.

        That all depends on your creativity and what extras your fridge is stocked it. Crappy food tastes good to begin with...all you need on a baloney baloney...A nice healthy sandwich needs some flavour...but it doesn't make it more expensive...

  4. naturalborn says:

    Because the McLean was such a smashing success?

    • curgoth says:

      According to my brother, who used to work at McD's, the main difference between the regular burger and the McLean was that the staff were told to pick up the patty and scrape off the grease before serving it.

      • jkonrath says:

        Not true - the McLean was a completely different patty, designed by Auburn University, and containing lean beef and additives that were supposed to make it taste better. One of the additives, which they didn't advertise because it probably would have freaked people out, was carrageenan, or seaweed.

        • curgoth says:

          Ah well, another amusing urban legend shot down.

        • fo0bar says:

          Carrageenan is also used in McD's milkshakes, ice cream, biscuits, and apple danishes... as well as a LOT of general food products, McD or otherwise.

          Also, carrageenan is a seaweed *extract*; it's not like they grind up seaweed and mix it into milkshakes. Besides, I hear that people in other parts of the world eat seaweed with rice, seafood and vegetables! Savages!


  5. revsphynx says:

    Isn't the salad pictured there the one that has more fat in it than a big mac?

    And I'm hoping everyone saw Penn and Teller's "Bullshit" about bottled water.

    • belgand says:

      Don't get Showtime so no. I personally don't buy bottled water, but I do use a water filter at home. Then again we have rather hard water here and unfiltered water has a very disturbing trend to be rather cloudy and unpleasant looking. Not to mention unpleasant tasting.

  6. simillionth says:

    Is that the daily dosage prescribed by doctors for Charlie Bell? But dude, that salad stuff looks spicy... won't it hurt his newly crafted rectum?

  7. jerronimo says:

    Can you get it with a Big-Mac instead of the salad? Yum!

    Or one of their "Arch Deluxes"... those were awesome...

  8. evan says:

    in other mcdonald's atrocity news:

  9. ronbar says:

    I immediately laughed when a co-worker told me a few weeks ago that the McDonalds CEO died suddenly of a heart attack. He thought that was pretty cold, but I dunno... you live by the sword, you die by the sword.

    And then of course the double-whammy on their stock was Bell's sudden colon cancer surgery. McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and RJ Reynolds' stocks are not Investments For The Future, to say the least. The long-term legal liabilities against them have each got to be bigger than Halliburton's massive asbestos liability.

    • krick says:

      McDonalds, Coca-Cola, and RJ Reynolds' stocks are not Investments For The Future, to say the least. The long-term legal liabilities against them have each got to be bigger than Halliburton's massive asbestos liability.

      The thing that you aren't considering is that the largest growth areas for all of these companies are in developing countries that haven't jumped onto the lawsuit bandwagon that's touring the USA. People in really poor countries can just barely afford cigarettes. It will be a LONG time before they can afford lawyers.

      check out my post... Making money off of sinners and addicts

      • ronbar says:

        Class-action suits have certainly worked well so far against cigarette makers and Halliburton; why would they not work in "poor" countries? Why should they have to work in "poor" countries when the comanies I mentioned are American? All they have to do is convince an American lawyer that he or she can make money getting a class-action suit going.

        I hope the money you make investing in amoral companies keeps you warm at night and suffices as a substitute for a soul. You forgot to mention Microsoft (destroying the software industry and exploiting Indians) and Coca-Cola (hiring and promoting prejudices against anyone not lilly-white and making everyone else unhealthy in the process) in the post you linked.

        Oh yeah, and those gold and diamond mining companies that work people to death for just pennies a day! Not only can you invest directly in them, but you can also buy options and shit on gold and diamonds themselves.

        • westyx says:

          from india, or american indian indians?

        • violentbloom says:

          class action suits worked in what sense?
          cigarettes are still for sale legally pretty much everywhere, people are still dying from lung cancer and other fucked up shit caused by cigarettes, people are still addicted to them, and new smokers are still getting addicted every by class action suits "working" I just I just don't see what "works" there. those companies are still racking in the cash and I frankly don't see that a lot has changed. Sure there are some new laws that means I can go to a restaurant or a club in california with out risking my own death but that's not true in most of the rest of the country.
          Also if you're dead or dying do you give a shit that you now have some cash? No, you're either dead, or in so much hurt you wish you were dead. And the rest of us still encounter second hand smoke on a regular basis.

  10. grahams says:

    It dovetails nicely with their "Fat Kids", er, "Mighty Kids Meal".

    The term "Mighty Kid" is hilarious... I now use Mighty in place of Fat as much as possible... Of course, I'm getting rather mighty myself these days... Perhaps it is time for a GO ACTIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! meal.

  11. ammonoid says:

    I think the adult happy meal is long overdue, but why'd they make it a health thing? The sad thing is the bottled water pictured probably costs mcdonalds more than the soda.

  12. hotabay says:

    When I think Adult Happy Meal, I think edible undies.

  13. chrs says:

    this is a little off topic, but am i the only one that's incredibly frightened by ronald mcdonald?

    look at that expression on his face. it's nearly cannibalistic.

    • ronbar says:

      I've always been scared of Ronald McDonald because (like most normal children) I hated clowns. But also because other kids thought it was EXCRUCIATINGLY witty to call me Ronald McDonald after teachers would call me by my first name.

      Unfortunately I hadn't yet developed a keen sarcasm at the age of five, so my response was to sulk when being called by the Demon Clown's name for the 6.25E27th time instead of drawing the ever-fresh childhood retort of "never heard THAT one before!"

      Now I rebel by demanding loudly and frequently that people call me by my true name (either Toejam or Asscrack, depending on what I ate for breakfast) instead of Ron.

  14. romulusnr says:

    Is it ironic to anyone else that McDonald's came out with four new salads -- all of which have probably more meat than lettuce -- and not long after, nationally rolled out the McVeggie?

    Is it too much to hope for for them to have a nice, deluxe, normal meatless salad?

    They could make one with black olives and feta cheese and call it the McGreco.


  15. rpkrajewski says:

    Hey, I got one and the "step-o-meter" is OK.

    • violentbloom says:

      yes but you'll get that same step-o-meter every time, how many do you need?
      maybe you can give them to your friends for xmas?
      or hey maybe you can sell them on ebay!

  16. all this hype about health is all fine and well... sure the salad has more fat that a big mac, but personally, if i want healthy, i go to a grocery store, get healthy food, make it at home. If i want a greasy quick burger i go to a fast food restaurant. With all the hype about food choices, i still find it hard to believe that some people spend enough time eating out at mcdonalds every meal that this chain has to worry.

    but no.
    the real issue here is the "I'm Lovin' It" commercials with the tits! Billboard adverts. Television commercial spots. Headless women with witty tee-shirt phrases plastered over their perky pert titties... with salads held underneath. Why arent all you socially motivated upstarts talking about the "sex sells" angle here. full screen view of a neck, a torso, a t-shirt phrase over perky tits, and held underneath a salad.

    just tossing my hat in the ring. any thoughts?