After being sued by obese children and watching its worldwide sales slump, McDonald’s announced last week that it’s hired Oprah’s (!) personal trainer, Bob Greene, to promote its new Go Active Meal. Billed as a Happy Meal for adults, it includes a salad—California Cobb, caesar, or bacon ranch—water, a booklet of Greene’s fitness philosophies, and a pedometer to encourage walking (presumably to the nearest McDonald’s). Will the program work? Sarah Bernard polled New York’s fitness elite.
First of all, have you ever been to McDonald’s?
David Kirsch, Madison Square Club: Once. I brought one of my models—I can’t say who, because she’ll kill me. She needed to have French fries.
Kacy Duke, Equinox: I’d go when my son was little.
David Barton, David Barton Gym: My son’s not allowed!
Ari Weller, Fitness Results: I find the smell grotesque.
Is the plan a true mea culpa or simply a gimmick?
Jennifer Kries, Balance: It’s like Philip Morris saving face by donating to Alvin Ailey.
Weller: After one or two Go Active meals, they’ll get you to say, “Can I have some fries with that?”
Kirsch: I applaud them. But why didn’t they call me?
On that note, was hiring Oprah’s guy a good idea? Her weight is not exactly stable.
Kries: Bob’s kind of an odd choice. If she presented a really gorgeous, buff body to match her big name, it would be a more convincing sell.
Duke: I don’t think that’s his fault. Fitness is an evolution, not a revolution. We’ve all had a lovefest with a box of Oreos!
Barton: I think they didn’t want to set the bar too high. But it’s so nonsensical that it fits.
What should McDonald’s do next?
Kirsch: Put trampolines in the playgrounds!
Weller: I see a whole new character—the McBodybuilder.
Barton: If McDonald’s can dupe the public into seeing a connection between exercise and Big Macs, then I’ll be expecting a call from Marlboro.