The Christian Science Monitor had an excellent editorial ripping the campaign by the “Center for Science in the Public Interest” going after McDonald’s Happy Meal toys and even Ronald McDonald himself. This group has gone as far to compare McDonalds to a playground child predator handing out candy. It is no surprise that like most of these nanny state campaigns their first targets have been cities in that stronghold of sound public policy known as California.
The Monitor notes correctly that the, “Concern about childhood obesity is driving calls to ban toys that have kids clamoring for a McDonald’s Happy Meal. But it is not government’s role to decide the dinner menu. Consumers have the power to demand more “healthy” choices, and food producers and retailers are responding.”
The market is responding to the demand of its consumers? What a novel concept. The fact is that McDonald’s has been increasingly proactive in offering healthier menu alternatives, in part responding to increased market demand by parents for such products. Nevertheless, unreasonable nanny-state special-interest groups continue to push for government intervention and have already had one success.
“In April, Santa Clara, Calif., banned toys for any meal over 485 calories. (Happy Meal calorie counts range from 390 to 580, according to the McDonald’s nutrition web site.) Now San Francisco is mulling a similar ban.”
Obviously the over-consumption of calories from any restaurant can contribute to obesity, especially if children continue to be increasingly sedentary. If you’re going to ban Happy Meal toys, why not ban all restaurant promotions? Better yet, why not mandate that children run uphill both ways to school as our parents used to do?
This is nothing more than yet another attempt by nanny-state advocates to artificially manufacture a scapegoat at the expense of logic.