McDonald’s Happy Meals Get A Little Less Happy

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San Francisco has been known for years as being our environmentally green crusader but has decided recently to tackle a new issue: Fast Food Kid’s Meals. The Paris of the West has just become the first American metropolis to pioneer the crack down on the calories served in McDonald’s fast food meals for children that contain toys. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors passed the law on Tuesday on a veto-proof 8-to-3 vote that will take effect on December 1st (Reuters). We all know the popular U.S. tradition of ripping open your grease stained paper bag, slamming some chicken nuggets (or what’s referred to as chicken), eating fries by the palm full, and last but not least, tearing open the packaging of your new favorite Happy Meal toy. Well, I guess that’s not an entirely accurate depiction of what really happens. You’re little hands are too greasy to open the plastic bag containing this new found fun… so you tell Mom to open it who thinks she’s still doing good on her diet because she ordered the Filet-O-Fish with a Diet Coke. Whatever!

The new law prohibits McDonald’s from giving out toys with kid’s meals unless it’s under 600 calories and contains fruits and vegetables along with a sensible drink without excessive sugar.

Personally, as much as I can see the benefit and ultimate hope for our little ones to live a much “lighter” future (no pun intended), it’s not Happy Meal toys making kids overweight today. Must I remind you of the ridiculous holiday that just came and left once again? What in the hell is with Halloween? How is this still happening? It’s basically an international annual tradition contributing to childhood obesity and diabetes… but all that candy can’t hurt them if they’re dressed up like a ninja. Right? What could that meeting have sounded like hundreds of years ago? I imagine some witches, a few dead guys, and a zombie got together and said, “Hey, how about on the 31st of each October we dress kids up in dark costumes, get them hopped up on candy, and send them running through poorly lit streets at night from one stranger’s door to the next while the adults use the evening for another reason to drink and drive. Sound good?”

Listen up people, free toys are not making kids fat! From toddlers to seniors, we have an obesity epidemic in this nation and we’ve had it for years. Of course fast food is partially to blame… but, I don’t see any mandatory laws that you have to eat there. That’s like blaming the drug dealer who got your kid hooked on cocaine because he gives out a free watch with every baggie. Common, where does the finger pointing stop? As long as there is free will, we all have the choice of heading to McDonald’s and letting our children imbibe more calories than they need to or feeding them a nice healthy meal coupled with a trip to the toy store. Let’s face it parents, when’s the last time you saw a child drive to McDonald’s, wait in line, order a Happy Meal, and pay for it? Even with free toys at stake, that’s not happening. Damn… now I feel like a Big Mac.

{image from AFP}

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