Happy Meals :)

In California, they are close to passing a law that will ban fast food restaurants from putting toys in certain kids meals. The new law will say that toys can be put in kids meals only if it is less than 600 calories, has reduced fat and sodium, and has at least one fruit and vegetable. The toy will then act as a reward to the kids for eating healthy.

And the most confusing part is that there are people who are against this. My first thought was, "Under 600 calories? It should be lower than that. Do kids meals really have more than that?"

I can understand why the restaurant chains themselves would be against the law. They will be forced to make significant changes to their menu. Plus, they probably fear that they will lose customers. I'm not sure they would lose any more customers than they already are to obesity related health issues.

Another complaint that I heard on TV was that a toy is not motivation enough to get children to change what they eat. I don't know about other kids, but when I was a kid, I wanted to go to McDonald's for the sole purpose of getting a toy. I would easily be swayed to eat vegetables if it meant getting a toy. Ultimately, though, the parents are the ones making the purchase. Although, that could be a good argument against the ban as well. Parents are less likely to be motivated by a toy. They could easily say, "You will eat your saturated fat and like it...toy or not", but I don't know many parents who want to have unhealthy kids. What am I saying? Parents have been buying kids burgers and fries for years, so a lack of toy isn't going to stop them. As one person on TV said, there is nothing stopping the parents from going to a toy store to buy a replacement toy.

Besides, McDonald's doesn't make people fat. I don't know why people say this. It is a completely ridiculous comment. Until I see a study that proves that a plate full of saturated fat and cholesterol prevents weight gain or actually causes weight loss, I will always disbelieve this statement. McDonald's may not be the only reason why 30% of Americans are obese, but it is the most prime example of foods that cause weight gain.


inertia said...

wow... McDonald's in Australia has been changing its image over the past few years (since Supersize Me, basically), and while the old favourites are still there, you can get "healthy choices" items as well... I think the kids happy meals already come with fruit in them (maybe it is an option...)

In any case, from what I have seen, McD's here has made a bit more of an effort to stay current than McD's over there...

Rachelle said...

I feel like countries outside of the US tend to have lower obesity rates and eat healthier. I have been to Europe twice and both times I have noticed that the food options are just so much healthier. Most recently, my husband and I went to London and Paris. My husband really wanted to order McDonald's in French and it took us forever to find one. The sheer amount of fast food restaurants is just not there. Plus, the fast food restaurants have a lot more healthier options than they do in the US.

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