A Real Happy Meal

Back in April, Santa Clara County in California set what could be a nationwide precedent but banning toys and giveaways in high-calorie meals targeted at children.  San Francisco may be next, but the ordinance has not yet passed.  The proposed ban will limit children’s fast-food meals containing toys to 640 mg of sodium, 600 calories or 35% of their calories from fat.  Each meal with a toy would need to contain fruits or vegetables.  The proposal passed 8-3 by the city’s Board of Supervisors and was vetoed by Mayor Gavin Newsom.  Since the ordinance won eight votes the board could override the veto.  Just recently, there was hope for another fast food toy ban in Superior, Wisconsin.  The ban was rejected on December 8, 2010.

Why the resistance?  Opponents argue it is interfering with parents’ decision making.  Wait a minute.  It is the parents’ decision to decide what the children eat, not the children’s decision, correct?  But offering a toy with a meal is a marketing tactic towards children.

Want to end the debate once and for all? Secretly lure the children to eat the healthier meal by sticking a toy in it.  Wahla!  Problem solved.