Ronald McDonald Tries on a Healthy Extreme Makeover

One of American's most recognized cultural icons has undergone an extreme makeover.

Starting on Friday, Ronald McDonald will be snowboarding, skateboarding and bike riding with kids in television commercials. But will the clown's new active lifestyle inspire others?

"Ronald McDonald's message is 'It's what I eat, it's what I do and I am loving it,'" said Jackie Woodward, vice president of Global Brand Marketing for McDonalds.

The ad campaign comes at a time when fast food chains are coming under increasing scrutiny as the nation's obesity problems increase. More than 9 million children in the U.S. are overweight and more than a third of them eat fast food every day, but critics say the new face of Ronald McDonald will do little to help children.

"They have these snappy commercials that make it seem like they're committed to healthful lifestyles that lures people into their restaurant," said Dr. David Katz. "Once inside their restaurant, you succumb to the smell of the deep fryer."