Last week, I wrote about the landmark bill passed in San Francisco that would require McDonald's Happy Meals and other fast-food meals that come with toys to meet new nutritional standards.
As you can imagine, McDonald's and other fast-food restaurants were not happy with the ban — and they weren't the only ones. On Friday, San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed the city's ban on most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys.
"Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money," said Newsom. "Despite its good intentions, I cannot support this unwise and unprecedented governmental intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices."
The mayor seems eager to paint this bill as one that would take away rights from parents, rather than one that would support parents in their quest to combat childhood obesity. It's a bandwagon that a lot of folks, including Dr. Phil, are jumping on. Check out Dr. Phil's interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN on the subject:
So here's what I think is interesting: Anytime these folks talk about childhood obesity, they say it's a team effort. To conquer childhood obesity, we need an approach that is backed by parents, schools, government and business. Yet, when the government makes a move that would make it easier for parents to bypass the fast-food lane, critics cry that it's the parents' job to choose what their kids eat.
Just to be clear, San Francisco did not ban McDonald's, nor did they ban Happy Meals, they simply approved a bill that would require meals marketed to children to meet certain nutritional standards. That sounds to me like a major win for parents who are trying to ensure that their kids eat better foods.
If parents choose to give their kids chicken nuggets and French fries, they still can. But from personal experience I can tell you that my girls beg and plead for Happy Meals all of the time. I turn them down all of the time, and on the rare occasion that I do swing thru the drive-thru and tell them they can get fries or a burger, but no toy, they are 99 percent less enthusiastic about the whole deal. When the toy is taken out of the picture, they could care less about McDonald's food.
That's not a theory. It's a reality that occurs in my car every time we pass those golden arches.
So, I for one continue to applaud the San Francisco ban and I hope it spreads to cities far and wide across the U.S.
What do you think about this bill to ban toys in children's meals unless they meet certain nutritional requirements?
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