The Strategist

McDonald's recalls Happy Meal fitness trackers

08/24/2016 - 16:00

Fast food restaurants chain McDonald's withdrew Happy Meal fitness tracers in the US and Canada. This decision is explained by complaints about appearance of burns on children’s wrists, left by the device. According to the device’s users, the very idea McDonald's health-project was doomed to failure from the beginning.

The popular American fast food chain announced new happy meal toys in mid-August. According to the authors, fitness trackers, sold together with the Happy Meal, we supposed to remind about physical exercises. This way, McDonald's planned to promote an active lifestyle among its young customers. The campaign was linked to the Olympics in Rio, sponsored by the famous fast food seller.

Despite the seemingly rational approach to food, media and netizens met the McDonald's announcement with skepticism. Primarily, they discommended the very idea, which looks pretty absurd given usefulness (or thereof lack) of the proposed food.

According to the company, one set of Happy Meal contains about 840 calories. Thus, a kid would have to make more than 20 thousand steps to burn an eaten cheeseburger and a serving of nuggets, and that without taking into account other meals. That is, a little fast-food lover should walk a few kilometers just to get rid of calories accumulated in the course of one afternoon.

Gizmodo also noted the device’s inability to work when running.

The tracker has a very weak movement sensor, and its casing and display are made of plastic, which is used for convenient kids’ watches.

Apart from counting steps, the sole function of Step-It was flashing lights, indicate activity of its user.

The cheap construction eventually led to the fact that McDonald's began to receive complaints from parents immediately after release of the updated Happy Meal. It was found that the devices cause irritation to the skin. In addition, some users have reported that their bracelet were chipped and damaged. 

A Facebook user Casey Collyar posted photos of a noticeable red mark on her child's wrist.

According to the blogger, battery of Step-It slight burned her son’s hand eight minutes after wearing this bracelet.

Her post was shared by more than 138 thousand Facebook users. The concerned mother was interviewed by several American publications calling McDonald's to account.

The company withdrew Step-It the day after occurrence of such complaints. The company’s spokesman Terry Hickey said that now the restaurants will be offering another toy. McDonald's even removed a video about the gadget from its YouTube-account.