McDonalds Happy Meal
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In the last election (of which I still cannot speak)a referendum was passed in San Fransisco banning McDonalds from marketing Happy Meals to children with the lure of toys unless the meals were made to be healthier. I read a recent blog at Scary Mommy regarding this issue and left the following comment:

I will probably be the bitch here. I am fine with the ban and wouldn’t mind one bit if it came to my state. I know too many parents who rely on these Happy Meals as their basic diet. I also know that my daughter could give a shit about the food – she just wants that stupid plastic toy that does nothing but puncture my foot in the middle of the night. Let’s face it people, kids are friggin FAT!! Parents are lazy, tired and like their junk food too. Because of this, we have parents who feed their kids nothing but crap day in and day out. Clearly, moderation is not something understood in my fat ass state.

I gained a elephant’s belly when I became pregnant, some due to meds…but mostly due to M&Ms and Fruit Loops. It has taken me 6 depressing and overwhelming years to lose that weight. For a child to grow up this way makes me want to cry. I cannot imagine how difficult it would be to lose the weight they have carried their entire lives. We as parents have control when they are young. We feed them what we want to feed them. And we don’t have much time to assert that control. So why on earth make such consistent bad choices now?

Personally, I would like to see a Fast Food tax. I am all for freedom of choice. And nothing is being taken off the menus. It simply won’t be marketed to young children…what on earth is wrong with that?

My kids get treats and even a Happy Meal once in a great while. We go out to eat, get ice cream, have snacks. I am not a health nazi. But I CAN practice moderation. The sad thing is…many parents simply don’t give a shit. So when a healthier meal is marketed with the toy for kids and they THEMSELVES chose that healthier meal, well halle-friggin-lujah!!!

I am clearly in the minority there as I probably will be here as well. But I am curious…where do YOU stand on the topic? Would you support it in YOUR city?


3 thoughts on “Unhappy Meals?

  1. Well as I do agree that junk food is contributing the the obesity problem, I think it goes way beyond that. When I was a kid we walked or rode our bikes everywhere. We played outside until the street lights came on. What do kids do these days? Most I know watch TV or play video games or text until they fall asleep. Good exercise for the thumbs, but not much else. I don’t think legislating health is going to go very far. One of my favorite sayings is you can’t fix stupid. Until parents learn to raise their kids and teach them responsibility and doing things in moderation, more laws will not fix things. I am torn really with the San Francisco ban. I think in one way it is ok, but in the other way, I think McDonald’s should pull up stakes in the city and leave. Watch the outrage then, when the parents can’t get their cheap coffee and a breakfast or burger on the run.

  2. I understand that point of view. I think perhaps I hold a different view because my daughter must be in the minority as she doesn’t care about the food at all, she just wants the toy. She has this thing with collections and she has her collection of Happy Meal toys. And I think that because Happy Meals with their toys are marketed towards and for children, they are going to think that is what they are suppose to want (the commercials are quite enticing). And again, my kids will have McDonald’s once in a while…but I make it a point to feed them healthy for most meals. Where as I know so many parents who do not. It is almost like this ban teaches the kids what the parents should be teaching them. I am sad and irritated that things like this are even an issue. Because if parents were more responsible and DID use moderation, then it would be unnecessary and not even a thought would be brought to it. But because childhood obesity is becoming such an epidemic – you can just walk through an elementary school to see that – others are having to step in and find a way to make these kids healthier DESPITE their parents actions/inactions.

  3. i don’t think the toys are where it’s at, but i *love* how passionate you are about this! i’m all for info & teaching, but the toys? *they* don’t strike me as the problem! love the convo that you’re starting though, b/c that IS where the good stuff happens!

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