In 2004, the World Health Organisation noted that “Most national regulations recognize children as a special group in need of special consideration and stipulate that advertising should not be harmful or exploitative of their credulity.”
It was unfortunate then, to watch the half time break in an international match between New Zealand and South Africa at Eden Park in Auckland where more than 100 children were adorned in McDonald’s branded t shirts and played on the field.
The 3o minutes of play was framed by the stadium commentator as a wonderful opportunity for the children, and McDonald’s were promoted as contributing positively to the development of the sport for young people. Some parents were clearly happy with their children on show at Eden Park, taking photos of their children from their seats. I however, remain deeply concerned about the financial connection between a company that promotes ultra-processed food and physical activity for children.