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Gingersnap
04-27-2010, 10:34 AM
Happy Meal toys could be banned in Santa Clara County

A county supervisor has created a stir with his proposal to bar the inclusion of toys in restaurant meals that contain high amounts of sugar, salt or certain fats.

By Sharon Bernstein, Los Angeles Times

April 27, 2010

The latest target in the battle over fast food is something you shouldn't even put in your mouth.

Convinced that Happy Meals and other food promotions aimed at children could make kids fat as well as happy, county officials in Silicon Valley are poised to outlaw the little toys that often come with high-calorie offerings.

The proposed ban is the latest in a growing string of efforts to change the types of foods aimed at youngsters and the way they are cooked and sold. Across the nation, cities, states and school boards have taken aim at excessive sugar, salt and certain types of fats.

Believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, the proposal would forbid the inclusion of a toy in any restaurant meal that has more than 485 calories, more than 600 mg of salt or high amounts of sugar or fat. In the case of McDonald's, the limits would include all of the chain's Happy Meals even those that include apple sticks instead of French fries.

Supporters say the ban would encourage restaurants to offer more-nutritious foods to kids and would make unhealthful items less appealing. But opponents believe it amounts to government meddling in parental decisions. The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors will consider the proposal Tuesday.

Even though it's largely symbolic the proposed ban would apply only to the dozen fast-food restaurants within the jurisdiction of the board the proposal has caused a bit of an uproar on the Internet, where comments on YouTube and other sites say it is another example of the "nanny state" gone wild.

The California Restaurant Assn. has taken out full-page newspaper advertisements against the proposed ordinance in local newspapers. One shows a little girl with her hands cuffed behind her back as she holds a stuffed animal.

Another opponent wrote in a YouTube posting, "I want to know when the pitchforks and torches and rope is going to come out.... We need to run these Frankenstein politician monsters the hell out of town!"

Ken Yeager, the Santa Clara County supervisor who is behind the effort, says the toys in kids' meals are contributing to America's obesity epidemic by encouraging children to eat unhealthful, fattening foods.

"People ask why I want to take toys out of the hands of children," said Yeager, who is president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. "But we now know that 70% of the kids that are overweight or obese will be overweight or obese as adults. Why would we want to burden anybody with a lifetime of chronic illness?"

This is a classic case of witless do-gooderism. The idea here is that if no toy in included with the meal then kids will not want the food. I'm not even a parent I know that's B.S. Parents buy this food - not 6 year olds. If it's a sometimes treat, there's no harm in it.

However, parents who routinely buy this food for kids because they are overworked and because it's one of the 5 things their kid will reliably eat aren't going to stop buying it because the toy is gone.

LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-happy-meals-20100427,0,6290206.story?page=1)

noonwitch
04-27-2010, 11:02 AM
This is a classic case of witless do-gooderism. The idea here is that if no toy in included with the meal then kids will not want the food. I'm not even a parent I know that's B.S. Parents buy this food - not 6 year olds. If it's a sometimes treat, there's no harm in it.

However, parents who routinely buy this food for kids because they are overworked and because it's one of the 5 things their kid will reliably eat aren't going to stop buying it because the toy is gone.

LA Times (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-happy-meals-20100427,0,6290206.story?page=1)



My niece is going to want her McNuggets, whether there is a toy involved or not. The toy is just a bonus.

Gingersnap
04-27-2010, 11:09 AM
My niece is going to want her McNuggets, whether there is a toy involved or not. The toy is just a bonus.

Correct. There are very few children who sincerely believe that steamed veggies taste better than french fries.

PoliCon
04-27-2010, 11:15 AM
Correct. There are very few children who sincerely believe that steamed veggies taste better than french fries.

French Fries is about all my 2 year old nephew will eat when eating out. :rolleyes:

Articulate_Ape
04-27-2010, 01:22 PM
I guess McDonalds is gonna have to scrap this from their Happy Meal toy list.

http://www.gasolinealleyantiques.com/images/Puppets%20Page/puppet-fatalbert.JPG

noonwitch
04-27-2010, 04:10 PM
I guess McDonalds is gonna have to scrap this from their Happy Meal toy list.

http://www.gasolinealleyantiques.com/images/Puppets%20Page/puppet-fatalbert.JPG


I'll bet someone could get $30-40 for that puppet on ebay!

RobJohnson
04-28-2010, 01:39 AM
The California Restaurant Assn. has taken out full-page newspaper advertisements against the proposed ordinance in local newspapers. One shows a little girl with her hands cuffed behind her back as she holds a stuffed animal.

:D

I hope they don't limit the free market by putting a ban on the toys.

Resturants, like alot of industries, market to kids.