Tuesday, June 22, 2010

McDonald's faces lawsuit over Happy Meals - latimes.com

McDonald's faces lawsuit over Happy Meals - latimes.com
This article suggests McDonald's is negligent for attracting young and impressionable toddlers with a cute toy in their Happy Meal. Since when does the toddler in the house make the decisions about what he or she will eat? I understand the wailing kid in the back seat blubbering that everyone else has that toy except him and now he'll be left out... blah, blah. I went through this with my kids. They can be VERY persuasive but at the end of the day, parents are the ones who should be saying no if they don't like the idea of the Happy Meal.

McDonald's built a business on fast, unhealthy food that sells to millions and millions. We all know the deal. Perhaps the problem with McDonald's is not the enticing Happy Meal toys, but rather the disgracefully cheap dollar deals that let you feed a family of five for about ten bucks. This seems to be a more criminal aspect in my view. Try driving around with a car full of hungry teens and a meager $20 left in your pocket to feed them. The dollar menu calls. It's fast, easy and filling but of course lacking in significant nutrient value.

Should we picket Micky D's to take away the dollar menu, withdraw the Happy Meal toys, or better still, shut their doors altogether? In my opinion it is none of these. Fast fat food is everywhere. It's just cheaper at Micky D's and the like. A walk around the supermarket will tell you that our whole diet has degenerated into an artificial, sugary mess. Even yogurts are stuffed full of sugar and we tend to put those in the health category. The latest Dannon yogurt I ate had 23 grams of sugar!!

So, let McDonald's advertise the toys. And parents out there... teach your children to resist early. It doesn't get any easier as we get older. As big business continues to push the calories, it is up to us to say no and the earlier we learn that life skill the better. No-one will do it for us.

Now what did I do with that Twinkie.....
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