Happy Meal Ban: A Sad Day for the U.S.A.

San Francisco and Santa Clara County’s banning of McDonald’s Happy Meals is a bad use of government regulatory authority. Pro or con?

Pro: Oh, Come On

McDonald’s (MCD) Happy Meals, however vulgar, tacky, and easily associated with public health concerns, are a part of modern American culture. Parents will occasionally buy kids fast food, which sometimes comes with toys, as do Cracker Jacks and some cereal boxes.

I make no apologies for a society in which children clamor for hamburgers, fries, and sweetened water served in easy-crossword-puzzle covered boxes accompanied by junk toys made in China.

If governments think there is a health epidemic, officials should end corn subsidies, which distort the American diet for the worse, address the horrible school lunch programs, and rethink having kids sit in classrooms seven hours each weekday.

But government bans on Happy Meals are a shot across the bow of American freedom. They are an attack on parents’ rights, childhood, common sense, and free enterprise.

Granted, there are a thousand things worse than a Happy Meal ban, but there are a million things worse than eating a Happy Meal. I ask those who find this petty: What’s next? Officials are already taxing lemonade stands, spying on students through their laptops, purging images of tobacco from classic cartoons, and persecuting pupils for drawing pictures of weapons and bringing aspirin to class.

Sorry kids, the war on fun appears to have no end.

Con: It’s a Sobering Issue

San Francisco’s and Santa Clara’s actions are not bans. They are common-sense health interventions that set nutrition guidelines for children’s meals accompanied by toy giveaways. Each year, McDonald’s and its competitors use giveaways to sell more than a billion junk food meals to children under 12.

These government actions address a national public health crisis that costs more than $150 billion in medical care each year. For too long the response to this epidemic has been to pour taxpayer dollars into nutrition education and physical activity programs while failing to address the junk food marketing that drowns out such worthwhile initiatives. After all, the junk food industry spends more every four days than the leading U.S. anti-obesity foundation does in a year.

Well, San Francisco and Santa Clara residents were just the first to finally say enough is enough.

"Every day I care for children who are suffering from diet-related conditions such as high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and pre-diabetes," says Dr. Amy Beck, a pediatrician at University of California, San Francisco, who was among the thousands of residents who supported the local efforts to rein in junk food marketing.

If today’s obesity epidemic is to be reversed, government must hold industry accountable for its role in making our kids sick.

Opinions and conclusions expressed in the Bloomberg BusinessWeek Debate Room do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg BusinessWeek, BusinessWeek.com, or Bloomberg LP.

Reader Comments

Irving

War on fun? Oh, come on! There's nothing fun about a $150 billion annual tab for diet-related disease. And what the heck is fun about trashy little plastic toys in a box of greasy food? I agree that we can't subsidize the cheapening of junk food with taxpayer dollars on the one hand only to limit its promotion on the other, but I don't think progress has to wait for a big business-friendly Congress to remedy subsidies to correct a marketing practice that even McDonald's acknowledges (through its own ineffectual voluntary standards) as unethical.

gayorg

Happy Meal ban. Totally absured. Doesn't the San Francisco council have anything better to do?

dennis3

How about the parents just start doing their job?

CollWebb

The Happy Meal ban is a small step in the right direction. We have an obesity epidemic in this country with children developing what were once adult only diseases. For the first time, our children may not live as long as us. A serious need exists for everyone, children above all, to have access to healthy foods. In many cases fast-food establishments are the cheapest and most easily accessible food outlets. We should applaud this ban on promoting unhealthy, artery-clogging, diabetes-inducing food to children. Also, let's stop blaming the parents...too often they don't have access to healthy foods, especially low-income families who live far away from a supermarket where there is the largest variety of healthy foods at the lowest cost. There is no doubt that food environment influences health outcomes, not just personal decisions, so let's embrace the government for taking a stop toward driving the obesity epidemic by helping children eat healthier foods.

Rick Barlow

With the arrival of the governmental nutrition police, we have taken one more step toward the absurd, and we have ceded more freedom to the elite--those truly smart people who know how we all ought to live and are willing to force us to conform to their beliefs, for our own good. This is a presumptuous, arrogant intrusion and should be resisted relentlessly.

PAH

It is the nanny state at its worst. Let the consumer make the choice. The consumer is perfectly aware of the contents of a Big Mac. If we accept this decision then what is next, Big Brother telling us what we can or cannot do for our own good (and who determines what is good for us. Should we all become vegans and give up meat to save the planet? Go back to riding bikes to get rid of all that carbon produced by cars? Who will determine what is good or bad for us? As for me, give me the information and let me choose. If I choose to drink or smoke, and I know the tradeoffs, then it is my choice.

Mike

CollWebb--if we ban happy meals, how does that move the poor closer to a healthy supermarket? The food choices will still be limited. The end result is that kids will be forced to order an adult size portion, will "clean their plate," and will more likely wind up even fatter. The adult meal also costs more so the poor will be even worse off. Wanna help the poor? Fund literacy programs so they can read about how bad the food is.

Adia

Frankly speaking, the ban is just as effective as throwing buns at an elephant. It's self-deceiving that the government believes this move can solve the problem of crippling obesity in USA. I think it's not McDonald’s fault for those kids getting fat. People should stop blaming anyone and everything other than themselves for being uncontrollable fat.

Also, the parents and the children themselves should be responsible for their own actions. Good parents must say no when kids did something wrong.

Single

Con: Just think about why the ban arose.

As a great enterprise McDonald's creates continuing fine profits and provides many jobs for people in the U.S. There must be reasons for San Francisco and Santa Clara County’s banning of McDonald’s Happy Meals. Please pay attention; they are governmental behaviors. Government did this--not only depended on economic considerations. It implies McDonald's has something inconsistent with the current trend. These factors could be cultural, social or hygienic. Suppose the average weight of Americans is going uphill because of high-calorie food--how should the government turn an blind eye to it?Also food is a part of culture, and I believe it will reflect and influence culture much--junk food will probably breed junk culture. And do we want our offspring to live a junk life?Unlike government firms make their effort to make money instead of the general population’s well-being. In this situation, we should draw upon government regulatory authority to hold companies accountable for their action. Although it is hard to be eliminate McDonald’s Happy Meals the banning can at least stimulate McDonald's to improve itself. Meanwhile if regulation exists it must have its functions. If we want to enfore it well, we should always stand by its side and use it more.

Robert Derheim

Why does McDonald's always have to be the fall guy for fast food concerns? Why do Wendy's, Burger King, Taco Bell, and all the others always get a free ride, while all the anger and discontent regarding fast food be slammed at McDonald's? They take way too much of the blame.

Dan

Are you kidding? If people don't want them, don't buy them.

What!? Unless McDonald's is blocking your lazy ass from providing a nutritious meal for your children, shut it, hippie.

Dan

@PAH, while I share the sentiment, there are obvious limits to this line of thinking. Or are you for allowing illicit drugs to be decriminalized? There is an obvious market for them. Just curious how far your ideology takes you.

Single

San Francisco and Santa Clara are not merely against Mcdonald's. They do not bear a grudge against Mcdonald's. What they really care about is the possible after-effect of consuming fast food. Mcdonald's was put into the first round of such bans just because of the Mcdonald's mania .I think bans will be pressed ahead on other fast food companies step by step.

kumar

Save America and save the world. Everything cannot be left to the people to decide. Otherwise most Americans will be dead in the next 50 to 100 years.

Sinlge

The intensity of methods that the government uses to oppose something varies. These methods can be persuasion, negotiation, warning, and government regulatory authority. McDonald’s has led the general population into mania. How will it affect people's health in the long run?

DC

You have to wonder how anyone ever survived before the government appreared on the scene to save us from ourselves. And how do you explain the almost doubling in life expectancy over the past century or so given the 'horrible' food we eat? Let's focus on real problems, not something that doesn't even warrant attention.

psk

Wow. I don't frequent McDonald's or other fast food places. My family does not either. I am a nonsmoker and hate when people smoke. But the government has to stop getting into the business of what we eat and where we smoke. In New York City they are trying to stop people from smoking in the parks.

If I want to eat a burger with all the trimmings and take my kids, so be it. What is next? No more Dunkin Donuts? I know this country is fat and lazy, but banning certain things is not the answer. This may be a start--a start to more really bad and overreaching government.

BC

I typically do not rant and rave about politics; however, this is total BS. This is not McDonald's problem. This is about parents making the right decisions for their children and choosing the best foods for them. I think parents often purchase fast food meals for their children as it is just that--fast food--instead of making a healthier meal (or even purchasing healthier foods from restaurants).

San Francisco and Santa Clara, wake up. McDonald's has every right to run their business as they please. (It's so easy to continue and place the blame on the large corporations). California should probably spend their government dollars on something a little more productive--.don't ya think? Ok, off my soap box!

tony4u

Wow. Parents abdicate their responsibility so now you want government to step in and do it. Where do you stop with regulation? You must balance government regulation with individual responsibility. Kids should be doing what parents decide and not what the government "thinks" is right for them.

beachfrontjames

They ban a legitimate product and allow pot. Ain't that little funhouse called California great?

Young Boomer

kumar, even with 100% government oversight, most, if not all Americans (including those that are just children today) will be dead in 100 years. Are you implying something more Malthusian?

I believe every cultural phenomenon is more of an opportunity than a problem government needs to solve. Just look at the "transfat" situation. All fast food joints got rid of it, and actually used the move to market to customers.

Zen

Well, obesity won't be solved by banning Happy Meals. You want to improve obesity? See how they live in Europe...more walking and biking, less vehicle usage, more time to prepare fresh meals from scratch with leisure and recreation. Shopping outdoor markets and using fresh produce while preparing simple meals with small portions is normal. Stress is also a big part of obesity and we can learn from Europeans how to kick back and enjoy life...relaxed lunches and sociable dinners. How is any family supposed to feed their kids if they are off work at 5 and have to be at an activity at 5:30? Fast food it is. We live a crazy insane lifestyle with lots of food containing preservatives and other additives such as high fructose corn syrup and we as North Americans think Happy Meals are the problem? Really, give your head a shake. Also, for low income families chicken breasts are expensive, and so are fresh vegetables. Frozen french fries, weiners, and reprocessed fatty chicken cutlets are cheap. If you are poor, what are you going to choose?

Bob

I think it is a great idea. I believe it is like "going green." Who better to start this trend than McDonald's? McDonald's is a worldwide corporation, so this ban would not only affect San Francisco or Santa Clara County, but this ban could affect the world. When anyone thinks of McDonald's, what do they think of besides Ronald? The answer would be the United States of America. So let's influence the world and let our youngest generation change the world. So all this global warming and everything else we are worried about could possibly stop, and we as human beings will continue our evolution.

ABQsage

This is one more reason that the great green California government machine is going bankrupt. We really need diet cops giving tickets for calorie offenders. Why can't California government focus on survival of their failing state rather than protection of poor unsuspecting children from those terrible Happy Meals?

Musiak

Wow. I can't believe so many people didn't actually read what the ordinance entailed and yet had the gall to comment! And that includes Anthony Gregory from the Independent Institute writing for the pro-side. Either that, or he is manipulating the argument. Here's the link and a summary:

"The city's board of supervisors votes to forbid restaurants from giving away toys with meals that have high levels of calories, sugar and fat. The ordinance would also require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys."

http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/02/business/la-fi-happy-meals-20101103

Nothing is stopping you from feeding your kid a "happy meal" if you really want to. There will be no toy in it--that's it! And if you can't see why this is a good thing--well....


Marcia

Totally and utterly ridiculous. What has government come to when they can decide what we can eat? Why not a ban on Coca Cola, all candy bars, kids meals at Denny's, Burger King, Wendy's? And what about adult obesity? Why not then ban Whopper's, chocolate cake on restaurant menus, heck better shut down every Dairy Queen. Only parents should decide what they want to buy for their family to eat. Government should play no role whatsoever. Vote Republican or face much more of this kind of government involvement in the very near future.

ROBERVAL

Well, it's a small step in the right direction. Municipalities have every right to stop unhealthy activity in their jurisdiction. This is how the anti-smoking movement started. Hooray for people with guts and gumption. I am a marketing expert. Deception is part of that curricululum.

Liverfool

Anyone that believes in the American free market economy will know that banning one thing will result in the rise of another. Possibly some substitute junkier.

Pete

Not only is the food horrible for our kids, but the toys are junk made in China and adding to the pile of landfill trash that we can't process. Ban the toys, and keep the rest of the meals for responsible parents who take their kids out for a treat once a month or so.

Corn luver

Kudos to Anthony Gregory! "Officials should end corn subsidies." Has anyone been to the grocery store lately? Noticed the increase in prices? The answer is . . .? Need I say it again? "Officials should end corn subsidies!"

Mr Nice High

I eat Macdonald's whenever the hell I want, and I'm just fine. [Stop] trying to ban fun.

Butch Jones

"Nanny state"? Guess what, look around you. Most people need to be nannied. Left to their own devices, the masses would do the stupiest things you could imagine, costing society as a whole in lawsuits, medical costs, etc.

If it makes sense to ban kid-friendly images on cigarette packs, then it is logical to ban other means to trick kids into other unhealthy habits.

Now, if we could somehow ban those kid-friendly messages that gets kid posting phone-pictures of themselves naked.

js

Since when have companies and corporations gained Constitutional rights? These are purveyors of products and services, and if the products and services are detrimental to society, ban them. That can be our collective decision, or even the decision of those we elect. We may regret it later, but we do it all the time. E.g. illicit drugs, prostitution, illegal fire arms, dangerous goods, and other regulated goods and services. These corporations, who aggressively and selectively market to children are out of control. Why shouldn't we ban foods for practices that result in the taxpayer paying for medical care or our insurance rates increasing because of bad food?

Christy Wilkinson

The concern over childhood obesity is a cloak for the bigger agenda--the gradual end of the principles of Constitutional freedom and the bill of rights. If you don't see this people, we are doomed. Everyone should uphold their rights, and that includes the right to market stuff that may not be considered appropriately healthful according to the popular research statistics of the day. We as individuals must be the ones to decide for ourselves and our own families what is right based on our individual--not the government's or any power majority group's--determination of what is right. Remember this: Not every pill the FDA deems safe is in fact safe!

Larry

Next thing the government will be telling us what to eat on which day. The time is now for much less government.

Leila

68% of Americans are overweight/obese, which is an population epidemic. 12% of federal budget will go to obesity-related illnesses. If you don't care about the people, then you will surely care about the money and you will be paying for the obesity of others through your insurance premiums. If this was plague, everyone would run the other way and not toward the "freedom" of buying legal poisons of happy meals--a mass administered Koolaid to our children. Why not give them cocaine? It's "freedom." There is nothing happy about the meals this nation eats, judging grom the scary statistics. No other country from our peer group has this problem: USA is the fattest nation in the 1st world. A happy meal is not a "treat"-- it's heroin and kiils. It's addictive, harmful, and kills slowly, unlike a plague which kills quickly. Enjoy the "freedom" to be dead? Poisonous foods are the same thing as tobacco: It took us years to realize the harm and death tobacco caused. Millions of lives later and with the eventual combination of government bans on tobacco advertising, tax increases, and omnipresent anti-tobacco mass propoganda the harm of cigaretts--i.e. a war on tobacco--now only under 20% of Americans smoke. If we can get the number of 68% obesity down to under 20%, that would be a beautiful thing instead of "freedom to be dead".

peterj

And to think it all started by picking on smokers. The power went straight to their heads and now the nanny state is out of control.

TheShagg

Eat more beef products and corn products! Here, we will pay you to do it!
--The Government

EJP

"Resident intervention"? Wow, Stacy what are you smoking? This is not a "resident intervention," this was not a ballot initiative, so why lie? This is just a typical liberal elite mandate put forth by a few over-reaching progressive politicians, like you no doubt. You guys are so so smart and of course know what's best for us dumb masses. Keep pushing people to the Republican party, you idiots.

Jefff

The preamble to the U.S. Constitution says that one of its purposes is to "promote the general welfare." Conservatives who think that public health regulations are improper government intrusion need to think about what their revered founders actually wrote.

Good GRIEF!

Not much different from the corner drug dealer, giving a free joint, when you purchase a hit of crack or meth, is it? American enterprise!

Jeremy

Freedom is freedom. Some estimate HIV/AIDS costs taxpayers 12 billion a year. Maybe we should consider a ban on intravenous drug use and sex outside of traditional marriage. Oh snap--the point is that it's none of the government's business.

lobo

Wow, I'm amazed that no one has said anything about Hollywood marketing their movies with these happy meals. Is Hollywood to blame? I think that we should make up our own minds what we can eat, especially what we feed our children. If I had a restaurant there I would offer whatever I wanted to because this is America, land of the free home of the brave! All of you do-gooders can hop in the lake.

John Gardner

Yes! Ban all fatty meals, smoking, drinking, anything that keeps us from reaching our full potential as a society. We should also stop fat people from having babies (because that leads to unhealthy children). And any woman with a low IQ (say under 120) should be prohibited from having children as this degrades the gene pool. But don't ban deficits or do anything to rein in the size of government because we need more oversight.

df

When it doesn't alter child obesity rates, will they lift the ban?

Simple Simon

Young Boomer, perhaps Kumar and the People's Republic of San Francisco have a point here. Maybe there's something more insidious to these Happy Meals than just high calories and low taste. What if those cheap Chinese toys sitting forgotten at the bottom of toy chests nationwide await the signal to come to life? Ten-cent transformers rising up to depopulate the US. Kumar, the modern Nostradamus, gives us the time frame--n 50 to 100 years all Americans will die. Except, of course, for those living in San Francisco, who will be unwitting beneficiaries of the global consipracy to repopulate America with obedient socialists.

Simple Simon

Jeff with 3 f's: For many, many reasons, the "promote the general welfare" clause in the US Constitution has no connection to a local government restricting personal liberties. Also, and I think I'm on good ground here, the Founding Fathers would have hoped our government at all levels had better things to do than legislate dietary habits.

goffa khyursseff

People like Mr. John Gardner are the reason this country is in the god awful mess that it is in. People in government who think they know what is best for you. This country was founded on the opposite of that premise, and all you have to do is look at the housing sector. People in government thought is wasn't fair that poor and lower income people can't afford a house so let's create a program that forces banks to give out loans or face government audits (see Janet Reno and the justice department). Mr. Gardner, if people would bother teaching their children how to read and write and be a responsible free citizen rather than relying on governent to tell you, this country and this planet would be a much better place. This is why we conservatives say, "Liberalism is a disease."

worldexplorer

Instead, try re-instituting recess in elementary schools. Now recess has been banned in kindergarten due to emphasis on "instructional" time. Grade 1 recess has been cut to 10 minutes once per day. Couple that with a longer school day and longer school year, along with sedentary high-tech games and societal fear of sending kids out to play in their own yard, and you get fat, sick kids. Happy Meals would be just fine if kids were getting a normal amount of exercise for their energy level at a young age. It's not the Happy Meals that are making our kids sick; it's lack of movement.

Nathan Hale

Goverment is like a fire. It can be very beneficial. yet if it gets out of control it can consume you. To paraphase George Washington: I would rather consume a Happy Meal than have the government consume me.

Joe Fido

These foods and "Happy Meals" have been around for generations and previous generations didn't suffer any ill effects from them. And $150 billion in health care costs? You're "blowing smoke." There is no such proof that suggests such non-sense. High blood pressure in children? Pre-diabetes? Obesity? Why don't you just say Happy Meals cause ADHD, too? It's all BS so pill pushers can sell more medication to the kids. I think idiots are a greater danger to society than a Happy Meal.

Matt

Let's not fool ourselves here--happy meals are fatty, and children don't require 2,000 calories per day as most adults do. Besides, the real issue is whether toys should be allowed in the meals to lure children. If an adult wants to buy food from Mcdonalds, they have every right to do so, but children are not capable of making a fully informed decision like adults can, so logically somebody needs to take responsibility and make a better choice for them.

Of course, then you have the issue of adults being uninformed/apathetic...

Jin Li

I think the governments are taking the right step in reducing fast food chains enticing the children with unhealthy foods. There is nothing fun when the kids take up the habit of eating junk food for the rest of their life. Sometimes minor personal freedom may need to take a backseat when it comes to health issues.

Obviously some people could equally argue that the government banning illicit drugs are also encroaching on personal freedom. But most people in their right mind knows the danger of taking these illicit drugs, and such activity should be restricted.

However, people can obviously voice their opinions and their dislikes for such policies, so your personal freedom isn't really restricted. There is always a chance such laws are reversed if the fast food companies pay enough to the government lobbyists and elicit people's hatred for restricting their freedoms to be fat and happy.

Brian

I do not allow my kids to eat Happy Meals. But I am not comfortable with the government intruding on that decision. While I recognize the costs of obesity on society, the concept of personal freedom is more sacred. If the argument is the burden on society, should we implement a health surtax based on each person's body mass index? Should gym membership be mandated? What about banning salt from restaurant tables to avoid overuse?

There are many poor decisions we make--and we should be at liberty to make those types of decisions as long as they do no direct harm to others.

Obesity is a problem, but government coercion is not the solution.

Scott

I guess for those that have no faith in society and need a higher authority to tell them what to do, how to act, and now what to have your kids eat, this is a pro.
I have 4 children under 9. They may eat fast food 2 times per month, if they're lucky. And they rarely ever get happy meals. Why? Because we are teaching our children that everything has a cost. Even at this young age they are understanding that the value of the happy meal, specifically the toy inside, does not warrant the cost. Additionally, we teach no matter where you are, you can eat healthy--yes, even McDonald's has some healthier alternatives. Our way of teaching our children is exactly that, our way. Doesn't have to be your way and that's the point. We all get to choose. That's why America is great. We are free to choose to live the way we want --and with that comes the consequences, whatever they may be, good or bad. That's life.

Dan

Wow, this is just sad. The government is now telling us what we can eat. Sure, they might not be the most healthy thing on the planet to eat, but neither are a lot of other things out there. It should be our own personal liberty to decide if we want our children to eat them or not.

What's next? Will the government start making mandates on candy companies, snack chip makers, and soda pop companies?

Chandler

Do any of you have kids? Once my son gets a hold of the toy, good luck getting him to eat any of the food. The toy might lead to buying the happy meal, but it does not lead to anything else. On the other hand we have created a slippery slope. I now have to pay for your health care no matter what you do, so I now should have the right to regulate what you do!

Bill Odum

The right of companies and individuals to do things that harm people, and get away with it in the name of freedom is absolutely hogwash. The American public should be fed up with it. These same people balk at heath care reform, which should include responsibility. It shows the gullibility of the American public. Hey, let's support MD's, hospitals, and drug companies; keep the product coming through the door. I really don't believe that God has given us that right. What, if you care to believe, is our responsible use our brains to pursue the common good!

Amy Smith

Ridiculous--the Happy Meal is no more a culprit than any of the other fried delicacies our kids sometimes enjoy. Any parent who makes Happy Meals a frequent meal choice should rethink their choices. For the occasional easy treat, I see no problem whatsoever. And I think McD's offers some healthy add-ons like sliced apples? Heard once their fried chicken sandwich has fewer calories than the grilled...read your labels, folks, and anything in moderation is a.o.k.!

bill

Nothing wrong with a happy meal. Don't allow your kids to eat them every day.

June

I want to know exactly whose idea this was and who's supporting this ridiculous idea. Once again we skirt the issue of personal responsibility. No one ever has to walk into a McDonald's and buy a Happy Meal if they do not want to.

Don't let them take away our choices.

haossonic

I personally think that we should have the choice of whether or not we eat Mcdonalds or Burger King or whatever. The government having this power over us could lead to worse than just this. I say less government.

smiley8988

Ok, I know I'm late to the party, but I'm doing a research paper and chose this as my topic. I agree that Happy Meals are not the greatest thing for you to eat. However, I don't feel that a government ban is right either. I believe it's the responsibility of the parents to make sure that the child is getting the necessary food and excercise to ensure the child is healthy. People tend to forget that the difference from when we were children and now is that when we were eating the Happy Meals we were also outside playing and getting exercise. In today's society children don't play outside--they are in front of the computer or playing X-box, Wii or Play Station. So my question is, what is next? Is government going to band those? It's common sense that people need to have a combination of good foods (to outweigh the bad) and quality exercise and physical activity to ensure they are healthy. Banning Happy Meals is not the answer. Common Sense from the parents and children is the answer. Parents, make your children go outside and play. Government, stop taking PE away from the education system. Look at the big picture and not try to control the smaller picture. Yes, I have four children and every one of them ate Happy Meals when they were little (probably more often then they should have), but none of my children (and I mean none) are overweight. As a matter of fact, my oldest son (21 years old) could stand to gain some weight. The reason all of them were active and were limited (by parents) on how much video game, computer, and TV time they had. Government, stay out!

Clara

I believe it was a wise decision to ban Happy Meals. In fact, I would have even applauded if the government had banned fast food restaurants entirely.
It is no secret that fast food is terribly bad for one's health. With hydrogenated oils, artificial additives and preservatives, it is hardly a wonder why it is unhealthy!

The government needs to step in as not everyone can think of themselves (meaning not all parents are responsible) and the fact that fast food is always bad in whatever shape or form.

Otherwise, fast food chains will laugh their investors to the bank at the expense of the little person living down the street.

NaturalNurture

I believe in free choice...like don't wear a helmet on a bike or motorcycle...don't wear seat belt....BUT...you pay the piper for the medical...ramps...wheel chairs etc...teaching assistants...
Same for food...you buy junk...get sick...you pay...not the rest of us...by supporting your stupidity with a medical plan taxpayer supported.

It started when we mocked women for doing the best for their babies by breast feeding..."ugh thats what cows do"..."how gross"..."if ya wanna do that go let your baby eat in the washroom"...then it was down hill from there with formula taking the lead...Nestlé won then and still does...junk on the first day of life and and right up to the last day of a short life...one full of diabetes...high blood pressure and the pharmacists friend...now all the fast food puppeteers are taking over the next step...

cyanmanta

It's not just about the happy meals; this whole country is on a banning binge lately. What I find especially grating is how the media constantly give credence to every parents' organization responding to the death of a child - ONE child - by banning whatever caused that child's death. And the counterpoint argument, that we should just accept that not every child is going to survive to adulthood no matter what we do, is either dismissed or completely ignored. Grow up, America...

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