When Is A McNugget Not A McNugget?

Have you seen the new TV commercial from McDonald’s? The one about the premiere of their ‘new’ Chicken McNuggets? The ones with no artificial preservatives? McDonald’s says it’s about what’s best for our kids. Dieticians say a McNugget is a McNugget, is a salty, fried McNugget…

Making McNuggets - © McDonald's RestaurantsFormer Myth Buster Grant Imihara talks McNuggets with a McDonald’s
product specialist. They may be preservative free, now,
but they’re still heavily Salted and Fried.

The new commercials show a father and daughter enjoying a pile of McNuggets together. It’s an eye-dampening moment, playing on all the emotions that could possibly come into play in such a situation.

“We all want what’s best for our kids,” the voiceover voice says, with all the sincerity it can muster.

But are McNuggets the Best?

Sure, we know that the voice means ‘no preservatives’ is a good thing. But, as numerous health and dietary experts have noted, A McNugget is still a McNugget no matter how you bread it, with or without preservatives.

Edmonton dietician Emily Mardell told CBC, “That’s the defining line that sets up the whole ad. It’s incredibly misleading.”

The Executive Director of the Centre for Health Science and Law in Ottawa, Bill Jeffery, says it ‘grossly misleading’. “What they’re advocating is so far removed from good nutrition, it’s almost kind of laughable.”

McDonald’s started publishing the nutrition info for all their products a few years ago. Their own figures for McNuggets tell a frightening tale: Just four McNuggets contain 9 g of fat and 300 mg of sodium. The dipping sauces are also high, not only in salt and fat, but in sugar. Say a kid eats a 10-Nugget meal with sauce. That’s about three-quarters of the daily recommended sodium intake for a child aged four to eight!

“This isn’t about improving the health of their customers,” Bill Jeffrey says. “They’re just going to try to appeal to people’s emotions about health.”

Here’s the kicker…

The dipping sauces McDonalds hands out with McNuggets are still riddled with the same preservatives McD’s is bragging about having removed from the McNuggets, themselves.

How do you feel about this marketing program from McDonalds? Time to produce a new ‘Truth In Advertising’ PSA focusing on deceptive and misleading food advertising?

~ Maggie J.