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McDonald’s Installs McTV in 800 U.S. Restaurants

Have you ever wished you could catch your favorite shows while chowing down on a cheeseburger? McDonald’s customers in the U.S. will soon be able to. Though seemingly incongruous with the notion of “fast food,” McDonald’s will offer the new McTV network in 800 McDonald’s restaurants across Southern California and Las Vegas.

The network, which  could reach nearly 20 million viewers per month, will feature entertainment, news, sports and video content for Quarter Pounder connoisseurs. Programs will be shown on a one-hour cycle, eight minutes of which will be dedicated to commercials. The in-store channel, which will be customized by restaurant location, is a joint venture between McDonald’s and ChannelPort Communications LLC. According to AOL TV, if it’s successful, it could be rolled out in restaurants nationally.

Leland Edmondson, founder of ChannelPort, told AOL TV “The intention is to catch and engage the customer, and then enhance their experience.”

The installation of an in-store TV network will help shift the public perception from McDonald’s as  a “grab and go” joint to an atmosphere where people want to linger over a meal with family and friends as they might at home.

Customers who would prefer to eat their Happy Meals without the drone of a television can choose to sit in a “quiet zone” in the restaurant.

While this might be a smart move for McDonald’s business, is it good for public health? Watching television can be a trigger for mindless eating, so if you plan to indulge in television with a side of fries, be sure to practice intuitive eating and stick to a few rules:

Eat only when you’re hungry. If your side salad left you feeling sated, don’t sneak your kids’ fries while they finish watching their favorite TV program. Remember that every bite counts, even if you weren’t planning on eating it.

Don’t super size it. If you want to lose – or even maintain – your weight, don’t let value get the best of you. Know your portion sizes and if you aren’t hungry, split something with a friend or family member.

Hydrate. Fast food can run high in sodium, leaving you thirsty. Since some people mistake thirst for hunger, drink plenty of water before and during your fast food feast to avoid thoughtless overeating.

October 19th, 2011

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