I just read this discussion thread, and I would like to add my thoughts on this. It isn't wrong to take your children to McDonald's once in awhile, but of course don't make a habit of it. I noticed that many of the children get tired of the burgers, nuggets, and fries, and after a few bites they just sit back and either start playing with the toys, or get up and run around the store, while the parents just sit there and seem to tune out everything.
As for some of the posters' comments that saying "no" damages the kids psychologically, I think always giving in does much more damage. My advice is to explain to your children that it ain't good for you to eat at McD's all the time. Once in awhile, it does no harm.
As for the claim that advertising brainwashes them into mindless robots, well I definitely wasn't a mindless robot when I was young. I understood that these places weren't for all-the-time visits. Also, I preferred Dairy Queen and the mom & pop burger joints over the Arches by a wide margin. I still do, but when I crave a burger, my cheapskate side often has the final word on where I go to get one. Again, when you find the right location, a QP is more than satisfactory.
Final word, when it is time for that occasional fast food treat, I strongly believe that, if the kids are presented with a Hunger Buster or Beltbuster from DQ (or DQ's chicken "country baskets"), rather than McD's Big Macs, QP's, or nuggets, they will notice a taste difference in DQ's favor. I didn't add this part as a sales pitch for DQ over McD's, nor did I do this to piss off the McD employees who are supportive of their workplace, but again to challenge the claim made by all fast food bashers that McD's in particular turns people into brainwashed zombies with their ads. I know the difference, despite the years of Saturday morning cartoons where McD's was a major sponsor. Again, my Scroogeness is a major reason I pick the Arches most often for a burger. Today's kids should be no different, in my opinion.