When I got my new Jetta in November, it came with Sirius Satellite Radio. I wasn't sure I'd like it, but I've quickly become a huge fan of Martha Stewart Radio! I listen all the time while driving, and I really enjoy all the programs.
In the mornings, I often listen to Morning Living with Kim and Betsy. They are too funny, and are always discussing topics that really interest me. Last week, they were discussing a county in California that has proposed to ban toys in Kids Meals or Happy Meals, unless the meal meets a certain nutritional standard. Huh? Yes, you read that correctly! This topic sprung a huge debate over whether or not its ok to give a toy with a Happy Meal, because childhood obesity in the U.S. is getting really serious.
Obviously this is a loaded topic, but I don't really see how a law is going to help prevent childhood obesity. First of all, if a child is obese, there are many more contributing factors than a Happy Meal. That child is not in control of his or her own dining destiny, and eats what his or her parent feeds him. So if the parent feeds them junk, the missing toy will have no factor on the child's weight. They are eating junk 24/7 and not just at restaurants. I have to also mention that McDonald's is currently offering healthily sides like milk and apples. I just wonder how many people are ordering these options?
Many callers were claiming that children "demand" Happy Meals because of the toy. I never did this as a kid. I loved going to McDonald's for a Happy Meal, because it was such a rare occurrence! No way was I going to be an obese child having a Happy Meal once a month or less! Not to mention, I cared not for the cheap, dumb toy! I wanted to have orange pop and fries! This was how infrequently we had McDonald's....a rare and special treat!
I doubt taking away the toy will deter parents from dining at McDonald's if they do so all the time (enough that they have a fat 5 year-old), and if the kid is "demanding" Happy Meals and they're obeying their kid , they have a whole other world of trouble headed their way.
I personally think that the county that is trying to ban the Happy Meal toy is trying to force the fast food industry to reform their menu. This might encourage the occasional McDonald's diners to rethink their choice in restaurants if the child really wants a toy, but I don't think it'll deter the hard-core McDonald's patrons. As far as trying to reform the fast food industry, I'd hope there might be other ways to do this. I don't have the answers, but I doubt legislation is going to fix the problem of child obesity in this country.
What are your thoughts?
6 days ago