I heard this story on the radio this morning: one California supervisor wants to ban fast food restaurants from selling toys with fast food meals. Of course, this is only one county in one state, so we’re hardly at the level of an argument before the Supreme Court.
A child’s “Happy Meal” may soon be a little less happy in Santa Clara County, where a local official wants to prevent fast-food restaurants from giving away inexpensive toys with kids’ orders. County supervisor Ken Yeager plans to ask his colleagues today to order up a law regulating when fast-food outlets can serve toy cars, action figures and other freebies as part of their children’s’ menus. Yeager says the toys entice young customers to load up on high-calorie fare and may contribute to childhood obesity.
The poll here is interesting, too. I mean so far there are only a whopping 7 votes, but one of the choices is “Sometimes I go out of the way to eat fast food because of a toy they are offering.” and it got me reminiscing. When I was a kid I definitely went out of my way to go to McDonald’s to collect their little plastic Chicken McNugget people (anyone else remember those?) and in college I got really addicted to collecting Monopoly game pieces whenever they had a contest. Of course these days I try to be very moderate about fast food, and I almost always get Happy Meals with apple dippers instead of fries, rather than “grownup” meals. (Which means I get toys! Woo!)
So what do you think–if you have kids, do you allow them to eat at McDonald’s? Do the toys factor in to your decision? Have you ever collected any of the Happy Meal toys? And should McDonald’s be free to sell whatever they want along with their Happy Meals, or is it more like Joe Camel, damaging advertising aimed at children that should be curtailed? I’m very curious to hear your opinions!
Posted by mo pie