McDonalds Step-In activity trackers

Update, August 18: Well you can’t blame McDonald’s for trying. The Associated Press reports that the promotion detailed below has been cancelled prematurely due to reports of “skin irritations”. Visitors to McDonalds restaurants in North America will be offered an alternative Happy Meal toy while the company investigates.

Original post, August 17: No offense to McDonald’s – which has been reinventing itself as more health conscious restaurant for a long time now – but the fast food chain rarely finds itself mentioned in the same breath as the word “healthy” without an un- in front of it. Well that is set to change courtesy of a new promotion that pairs a Happy Meal with a fitness tracking wearable.

That’s right, the fast food joint that has been linked to childhood obesity since basically forever is now packaging a health tracker in with its famous Happy Meal. Assuming the irony of going to McDonald’s to start getting in shape isn’t lost on you, it’s actually a pretty sweet deal.

Considering a Happy Meal can be as cheap as a few dollars depending on where you live, getting a free activity tracker with your cheeseburger meal isn’t a bad trade-off. Of course, you shouldn’t expecting a Fitbit or its like with your next kids’ meal.

What you’ll get is one of what looks to be two fairly basic pedometer-type ‘watches’ called a Step-It. Regardless of its kids styling, any activity is good activity, whether you’re wearing a colorful plastic kids pedometer or not.

Any activity is good activity, whether you're wearing a colorful plastic kids pedometer or not.

The simpler version appears to display a red flashing light when you’re active. The faster you’re moving the faster it blinks. So far so hyperactive OCD. The other slightly more advanced watch is essentially just a pedometer with a display readout. It may not be much, but it’s a start, and is well timed to coincide with the SummerOlympics.

There’s a bunch of fun colors on offer and hungry folks of all sizes in the U.S. and Canada will be able to pick one up over the next month or so.

Do you use a fitness tracker of any description? What is your preferred activity?

Read next: The best Android fitness apps

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