In Santa Clara, California, officials have decided to ban an aspect of what many adults remember fondly, Happy Meal toys. Most Americans growing up had a Happy Meal at one point or another in their lives, the food being quick and easy, and the toy keeping children happy. In Santa Clara these toys are being blamed as part of the “obesity epidemic” and in 90 days the toys will no longer be included in what supporter Ken Yeager calls “high-calorie, high-fat, high sodium kids meals”.
Supporters of this ban say it would encourage restaurants to provide more nutritious meal choices for children and make unhealthy meals less appealing. Many fast food restaurants, including McDonald’s, offer nutritional information online so parents have the chance to pick the healthiest option for their children. If a parent orders a Happy Meal with Chicken Nuggets, Apple Dippers, and milk, their child would be consuming only 390 calories.
Momlogic.com claims that parents will still take their children through the drive-thru because it’s fast and easy. It seems that Santa Clara officials are blaming obesity on McDonald’s and other fast food companies even though the original idea of toys in Happy Meals was “to make a child happy and not cost Mom any additional money”.
Santa Clara restaurant owners are outraged as this law will only cover about a dozen fast-food chains in the area. A parent truly wanting to give their child the Happy Meal toy may simply drive a few miles to get the toy. This is simply a bit of background however; there is a deeper issue here.
Officials in Santa Clara are effectively saying here that they know what is best for children and not the parents. Will they next be banning video games and enforcing a mandatory exercise period as well? There is a fine line here that, well, these officials have crossed. This ban is unconstitutional. This act is not legal. Is this what’s considered providing for the General Welfare? If this ban is allowed to stand who knows what will be next.
McDonald’s corporation is currently unavailable for comment.