San Fransisco is now the first city in the US to ban toys from being served in fast food meals, specifically toys served with McDonald’s Happy Meals. Health experts suggest that “toys pushed the kids towards these meals, promoting unhealthy eating habits, obesity issues, etc.” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, however vetoed this ban. He claims:
“Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money. Despite its good intentions, I cannot support this unwise and unprecedented governmental intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices.”
Frankly, I’m happy to see Mayor Newsom’s take on the issue. I think he’s right to put this responsibility on the parent’s shoulders instead of the government’s. So what exactly is in a happy meal that provoked this ban in the first place?
It turns out that the calorie intake can range from 380 (consisting of 4pc chicken nuggets, apple dippers with low fat caramel dip and an apple juice box) up to 650 (consisting of a hamburger, small french fries and low fat chocolate milk) according to McDonald’s nutritional guides. So when I read stats that say “it effectively lures the kids and their parents to choose the accompanying meals over other options” it just proves that parents are quite unaware of their options. They don’t have to sacrifice a plastic toy for their children to choose the healthier option. They just need to know what that option is.
(Photo by me and the sysop used under a Creative Commons license.)