In case you haven’t bought into the idea that government can, indeed, over-reach and turn into a the equivalent of a gigantic babysitter, look no further than San Francisco, which has now banned McDonalds’ “Happy Meals.”
Specifically, San Francisco has banned “restaurants from offering a free toy with meals that contain more than set levels of calories, sugar and fat,” says the LA Times. “The ordinance would also require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.”
San Francisco’s government tries to present this decision as a triumph of “food justice”–and blames McDonalds for making America’s kids fat.
McDonalds, needless to say, disagrees.
America does indeed have a huge obesity problem. And McDonalds no doubt contributes to that problem, along with dozens of other restaurants that serve massive high-calorie meals that are also affordable and convenient (and come with toys). But just because McDonalds serves them doesn’t mean that it’s McDonalds’ fault that our kids eat too many of them, don’t exercise, and become obese. (If San Francisco wants to blame something, lack of exercise, fat parents, clueless parents, and too much eating are more directly responsible.)
This is not to suggest that it’s SMART to eat a lot of McDonalds’ Happy Meals–it isn’t. It is just to say that there shouldn’t be a law against McDonalds’ serving them.
If San Francisco wants its citizens to stop eating Happy Meals, it should start by just showing them this (probably fake) video, which purports to show a Happy Meal not decaying over six months of sitting on a counter.
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