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McDonald's new toy aimed at encouraging kids to get moving

Last Updated Aug 17, 2016 at 8:49 am EST

One of the world’s largest fast food chains is raising eyebrows for its newest Happy Meal toy.

McDonald’s has introduced ‘STEP-it’, a fitness tracker that according to the fast food chain encourages kids to get moving. The activity tracker, which goes around your wrist, was inspired by other fitness trackers, like FitBit.

“McDonald’s is a fast food brand and they’re sort of seen as the pinnacle of fast food, and because of that they’re really associated with unhealthy food,” said Russ Martin, senior writer with Marketing Mag, who wrote about the release of the tracker here.

The restaurant chain has been branding the Happy Meal as a much healthier option, than it has been in previous years.

“The company has been doing a lot to change that perception, it’s certainly an uphill battle,” Martin added.

In a statement to CityNews, McDonald’s Canada Senior Marketing Manager, Michelle McIImoyle says “Step-it is in line with McDonald’s general philosophy for Happy Meal toys, which is to make toys that encourage either physical or imagination-based play.”

The line of wristband trackers includes six activity trackers that either blink quickly or slowly based on the pace, and also counts steps.

The release was intended to coincide with the Olympics and summer break. The toy will be available at all restaurants across Canada and the U.S. for the next four weeks.