Christine Park

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Not-So-Happy Meals?

First Santa Clara... now San Francisco. Officials -- citing concerns over childhood obesity -- have banned restaurants from giving away toys with their kids' meals. But what's a happy meal without the happy?

A McDonald's spokesperson said, "We are extremely disappointed with this decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for."

TV News Mom could not agree more. It is a parent's right and responsibility to decide whether or not to purchase a fast food meal. I don't know a single mom or dad who "unknowingly" bought these meals, thinking they were healthy. At least at our home, they are an extremely rare "treat" and the toy is part of the fun.

Under the ruling, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, San Francisco restaurants will be allowed to include a toy with a meal only if the food and drink in the meal contain fewer than 600 calories, less than 640 milligrams of sodium and if less than 35 per cent of the calories are derived from fat (less than 10 per cent from saturated fat), except for fat contained in nuts, seeds, eggs or low-fat cheese. In addition, the meals must contain a half-cup or more of fruit and three-quarters of a cup or more of vegetables. A breakfast meal must contain at least a half-cup of fruit or vegetables. SF Superviors argue this will promote healthier eating habits.

Seriously? Taking away a toy is your answer to childhood obesity? What say you, readers?

1 comment:

  1. Legislating our lives is definitely a sensitive area for people from all walks of life. It's a delicate balance between personal freedoms and the benefit of society as a whole. However, I do find it hypocritical that a city, where the emphasis on individual choice is so proudly paraded, would force choices on anyone.