McDonald's Plan to Put Fitness Trackers in Happy Meals is a Cruel Joke [Updated]

By Michael Nunez on at

Letting kids eat a lot of McDonald’s is a great way to make them fat. But sometimes parents can’t resist buying food that’s so cheap and addictive. Thankfully, the geniuses at McDonald’s have happily come up with a solution for every potential heart condition that rolls into a Mickey D’s drive-through.

McDonald’s will soon begin shipping a cheap fitness tracker in every Happy Meal sold in US and Canadian locations. 'What? No UK debut?' I hear you cry. Well, lets be honest, this new promo does primarily suit the more...portly...citizens of North America. If it does take off and get introduced into the UK, perhaps Brits can also rejoice in chucking the crappy device aside to lay hands on those juicy hamburgers.

The “Step-It” tracker is basically a really basic step counter that also blinks based on the speed of a kid’s steps. The promotion will last for four weeks (a period of time that each device probably won't even last).

The tracker can presumably count really, really high — because it takes four hours of exercise to burn off the 840 calories in a single Happy Meal. If you consider that the average person takes about 2,000 steps per mile, and they walk about three miles per hour, that means a child would have to take about 24,000 steps before their grimy cheeseburger meal calories were burned off. My legs (and stomach) hurt just thinking about it.

If you’re looking for an easy way to count steps, I wouldn’t recommend running out and grabbing a Happy Meal, either. McDonald’s new wearable fitness tracker provides nowhere near the same level of quality as a Fitbit, and it appears to be made cheap plastic. Even the display is a tiny LCD screen similar to the ones found in cheap digital watches.

I guess if you consider that it’s free with a $5.00 Chicken McNugget Happy Meal—it’s one hell of a deal (so long as you don’t include the long-term medical costs of obesity or diabetes). Enjoy that cheeseburger, little buddy! [Huffington Post]

Update: Well, that was quick. The Step-It counter has already been recalled from active duty across the whole of North America after a child's arm was scalded by the LED in the device. So, it's back to just sticking a smartphone in kids' hands and letting them roam with Pokémon Go again is it? [The Register]