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San Fran Nannies Steal Happy Meals From Children

San Fran Nannies Steal Happy Meals From Children

Originally posted at David Horowitz’s Newsreal:

Nanny staters and McDonald’s Happy Meals just don’t mix. In California, the obesity police have been trying to ban Happy Meals for quite some time now. New York has taken this to an extreme — while they haven’t banned Happy Meal (yet), the bureaucrats there are crusading against trans fats, salt, and anything else they deem not good for you. San Francisco bureaucrats have jumped on the bandwagon, banning restaurants from giving children toys with unhealthy food. Basically, they’ve specifically targeted — and banned — Happy Meals. After all, why should idiotic ignorant parents get to decide what their children do and do no eat?

San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to pass a law that cracks down on the popular practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed the law on Tuesday on a veto-proof 8-to-3 vote. It takes effect on December 1. The law, like an ordinance passed earlier this year in nearby Santa Clara County, would require that restaurant kids’ meals meet certain nutritional standards before they could be sold with toys.

Opponents of the law include the National Restaurant Association and McDonald’s Corp, which used its now wildly popular Happy Meal to pioneer the use of free toys to market directly to children. “We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement. “Getting a toy with a kid’s meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald’s,” Proud said.

The San Francisco law would allow toys to be given away with kids’ meals that have less than 600 calories, contain fruits and vegetables, and include beverages without excessive fat or sugar. Backers of the ordinance say it aims to promote healthy eating habits while combating childhood obesity. “Our children are sick. Rates of obesity in San Francisco are disturbingly high, especially among children of color,” said San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure. “This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children’s health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment,” Mar said.

It’s not a challenge to the restaurant industry, it’s a mandate. And it should be offensive to anyone who values the right of a business owner to operate their business as they see fit … or to any parents who think they should be allowed to raise their children as they see fit. The ever-intrusive nanny state is greedily gobbling up control of our lives, all in the name of what is “good for us.” They’re just much smarter than us ignoramuses, so we should let them tell us what we can and can’t do, right?

Are McDonald’s Happy Meals healthy? No, not really. But there are healthier options for parents to choose. Isn’t that a great word, choose? See, the way it works is, parents can go to McDonald’s and choose whether or not they want to give their child fries or apple slices. McDonald’s does not leave Happy Meal toys littered on the street in a complicated ploy to snatch children, drag them into McDonald’s, and force-feed them fries.

Case in point: myself.

I certainly ate a good amount of fast food as a kid. But I also was not allowed inside the house when it was daylight unless I was doing my homework or reading. Playing Nintendo? Watching TV? Absolutely forbidden. My brother and I grew up being active. We rode bikes, we rollerbladed, we ran around like kids are supposed to do. We were also both skinny as rails. I, in particular, was tiny. I was even made fun of in middle school for being so skinny (up until about eighth grade, when puberty struck and my curves came in). This was a law laid down by my parents, and strictly enforced. Had they not, we surely would have been much plumper children.

Kids like Happy Meals, sure, but if parents don’t want to face the wrath of Michelle Obama by letting their their kids become obese, then there’s a simple solution: say no. They could also tell their kids to turn the Xbox, computer, and television off and make them get outside and be physically active instead of sitting around playing video games all day, but that would also involve not catering to a child’s every whim, which I suspect is the real culprit of childhood obesity.

Either way, when did this become a decision for the government to make? If parents would actually, I don’t know, parent, and not let their children turn into fat, lazy slobs, then there wouldn’t be a childhood obesity epidemic. But the nanny state blames McDonald’s — and this, then, takes the blame off of lousy parents who refuse to lay down the law for their children. Parents who say yes every time their child wants a Happy Meal can now nod and say, “Yes, see, it’s not my fault my kid is fat — it’s that evil giant corporation McDonald’s, tricking my kids into eating unhealthy food with toys!”

In reality, this does nothing beyond give irresponsible parents someone else to point the finger at, and give the government more control over our lives. Does anyone really think that by taking toys out of Happy Meals kids are magically going to get slimmer? Kids will still eat at McDonald’s. And a year from now, the fat kids in San Francisco will probably still be fat. Parents who let their kids sit around the house all day doing nothing while gobbling up a diet of crap will continue to do just that.

The solution to the obesity epidemic is not government intervention. The government can’t fix bad parenting, because bad parents will always be just that. This is nothing more than a ploy for leftist bureaucrats to get more control over us, because of course, they’re so much smarter than us.

It’s interesting that lefties would choose something like this to wage war over. If they put half the energy they use trying to fix our bad choices toward fighting Al Qaeda or illegal immigration, then this country would surely be in much better shape.

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  • Melinda P says:

    As someone who used to be a McDonald’s manager, before I had kids, I can tell you that I saw the same people there ALL. THE. TIME. Mostly, it was working parents who would come through on their way home from work to get their kids dinner because they didn’t want to cook too. You can’t blame any restaurant for providing people with what they want. I can tell you that we didn’t sell that many salads because people don’t associate a fast food restaurant with salads. We mostly sold burgers and fries because that’s what people want.

    Now that I’m a parent, I don’t allow my children to have fast food all that often. When we do, they don’t get happy meals, but that’s for other reasons. (Like my younger son doesn’t eat french fries, and there isn’t enough food in one for my older son.) Plus, we generally get our food to go, so that we can eat at home and have some fruit with our “special lunch”, as we call it.

    It all comes down to common sense. If you kid eats only junk all the time and then does nothing, they will be fat. If you are teaching your child to eat a variety of foods and eat everything in moderation while living an active lifestyle, they will be fine. Banning happy meals is almost as bad as banning “junk food” at school. If you take something like that away completely, when the choice is given, most people will go for the junk.

  • Chris in NC says:

    I love Doug Powers’ take on this: “In the City by the Bay, if you want to roller skate naked down Castro Street wearing a phallic-symbol hat and snorting an eight-ball off a transgender hooker’s chest while underage kids run behind you handing out free heroin needles, condoms and coupons to the grand opening of the neighborhood’s newest bathhouse, that’s your right as a free citizen of the United States. But if you want to put a Buzz Lightyear toy in the same box with a hamburger and fries and sell it, you’re outta here mister!”

    Only in California

  • Rob F says:

    I once ate four packets of crisps (or chips as you’d call them) in one day, and in the four times I’ve been in the US, I virtually survived on
    burgers (and the occasional taco).

    Balance it out with healthy foods like tuna and green tea, and get plenty of exercise (even if it’s just walking to Walmart and carrying the shopping home), and you’ll be fine.

    That’s my theory, anyway. I’d rather just enjoy myself than worry constantly about my fat/salt intake.

    “But you’ll regret it in the future!” I hear the Righteous (as in self-righteous) say.

    Well….I’m 40 in January, I’ve beeen told I look ten years younger, and I can do twice as many pull-ups as my stepdaughter’s ex-boyfriesnd.

    Ignore the health fascists, and you’ll be a lot happier.

  • Anonymous says:

    Left/libtards hate McDonald’s almost as much as they hate people being able to run their own lives. (Imagine what they think about McRib– it’s not Halal, the horror!)

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