Labour deputy leader, Tom Watson MP has hit out at Macdonald’s Monopoly campaign that gives customers prizes, including holidays, a car, cash prizes or even food.
Watson said this is a “danger to public health” and is urging McDonald’s to drop the annual competition. He said it is “unacceptable” as the “campaign aims to manipulate families into ordering junk food.”
The government is considering banning junk food adverts before 9pm, in a bid to tackle child obesity. Since 2007 children’s TV shows have not shown junk food adverts, as they are now banned.
A public consultation will be starting shortly to find out if a watershed on foods high in sugar, salt and fat is needed.
However, McDonald’s argued customers can take part by eating some of the healthier foods available on their menu, saying it is the “customers choice.”
McDonald’s said in a statement, “This year’s campaign sees customers receive prize labels on carrot bags, salads and our Big Flavour Wraps range, and we have removed the incentive to ‘go large’.
“Nutrition information is clearly displayed, and we continue to review, refine and reformulate our menu to reduce saturated fat, salt and sugar.”
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson wrote in a letter, “Almost two-thirds of adults in England are overweight or obese.
“A quarter of children in England are overweight or obese by age five, rising to over a third by the end of primary school. Obesity and a sugar-filled diet cause a variety of serious health conditions, including type 2 diabetes which costs the NHS 10% of its budget every year to treat.
“In this context, it is appalling that your company’s Monopoly marketing ploy encourages people to eat more unhealthy foods by offering sugar-filled desserts as rewards.
“It is unacceptable that this campaign aims to manipulate families into ordering junk food more frequently and in bigger portions, in the faint hope of winning a holiday, a car, or a cash prize many would otherwise struggle to afford.”