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McDonald’s Pulls Fitness Trackers from Happy Meals After Complaints of ‘Skin Irritation’

August 18, 2016, 4:19 AM UTC
San Francisco Votes To Ban McDonalds Happy Meals
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 03: A photo illustration of a Happy Meal at McDonald's on November 3, 2010 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco became the first city in the nation to pass a law to control giving away free toys with unhealthy meals for children. The law requires that any restaurant kid's meals meet nutritional standards before they can be sold with toys. (Photo by David Paul Morris/Getty Images)
David Paul Morris/ Getty Images/ File

That was fast.

After years of contentions that McDonald’s (MCD) Happy Meals were little more than a vehicle to shamelessly lure kids to junk food with toys, the fast food chain this week decided to try something new: pairing fitness trackers with some of its Happy Meals.

The so-called “Step-it” pedometers, blinking lights and offered in six colors, were supposed to replace the variation of toys that usually accompanies Happy Meals for a limited time in the U.S. and Canada, TIME reported. The company was hoping to freshen its image with a more parent-friendly, health-conscious offering.

“Physical activity is important to everyone of all ages,” a McDonald’s senior executive said of the change. “We very much support children’s well-being.”

See also: A New Campaign Wants McDonald’s Antibiotics Ban to Go Global

Just days later, however, the company said it was pulling the wristbands after customers complained of what may have been skin irritations.


It is not clear how many customers experienced the issue. McDonald’s promptly said it would look into the product.

“We have taken this swift and voluntary step after receiving limited reports of potential skin irritations that may be associated from wearing the band,” the fast food giant told Business Insider in a statement on Wednesday.

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of our customers and we are fully investigating this issue.”