Free Markets, Free People

Happy Meal toy ban followup

You remember the story yesterday about Santa Clara county’s desire to ban toys in meals the board of supervisors had decided were unhealthy?

They’ve passed the provision:

On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors took action by prohibiting fast-food restaurants from using toys to lure kids into buying unhealthy meals. The vote was 3-2.

Have to love the “reporting”.  Obviously a supporter of arbitrary government intervention the LA Times’ Karen Kaplan gives us another example of unbiased reporting:

Not surprisingly, the toy ban has angered folks who resent government efforts to help Americans eat healthier.

And if you’re wondering, the link above brings you right back to the QandO story yesterday on this subject.  I, of course, make no bones about being biased, never have – this is more “nanny state goodness”.  You see, Ms. Kaplan obviously thinks it is the role of government to “help Americans eat healthier” even if it means banning things.  My guess is she’d not be quite as ready for government bans it they had to do with, oh I don’t know, books or something similar.

The excuse?

In Santa Clara County, one out of every four kids is either overweight or obese. Among 2- to 5-year-olds from low-income families, the rate is one in three. The county health system spends millions of dollars a year treating kids for health problems related to obesity, and the tab is growing.

If you haven’t yet figured out that the passage of ObamaCare has emboldened the nannies at all levels, this ought to make the case.  Trust me, this reporter didn’t dig this nugget out.  It was handed to her by those trying to justify this power grab.

Anyway, how will this work?  Well, just as the FDA is going to be fiddling with the salt content in your favorite spaghetti sauce, the board of supervisors – all board certified nutritionists I’m sure – have decided on these criteria for a “trinket” to be included in order to “lure kids into buying” the meal:

In order to combine trinkets with burgers, chicken nuggets or other children’s fare, a meal must meet some basic nutritional requirements. Among them:

– No single food item can contain more than 200 calories, the drink cannot have more than 120 calories, and the entire meal cannot exceed 485 calories.

– No single item can contain more than 480 milligrams of salt, and the entire meal is limited to 600 mg of salt.

– No more than 35% of the calories can come from fat.

– No more than 10% of total calories can come from added sugar.

What has to be understood here is this is one of those precedent setters – if you give the Board of Supervisors this without a fight, how can you deny them the right, next time, to go after something else? Legitimate question. Because you know if they win this, there’s very little to restrain them from managing the rest of your life.

So where does this fight have to be won now that the board of supervisors have voted? Well thankfully it has to be approved again at a second Board of Supervisors meeting in May. If the article cited is to be believed, a poll shows 80% of the county opposes the ban. A bunch of that 80% needs to be in attendance at that BoS meeting next month and tell the emboldened nanny to butt out.

~McQ

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20 Responses to Happy Meal toy ban followup

  • If I were McD’s, I would be thanking these people…  Simply leave out the toy, change nothing else, and leave the price the same.  More profit, less to ship to stores and so even MORE profit.  Sounds like we should check to see if Santa Clara’s board is getting kickbacks from the clown.

  • Besides rankling my libertarian sensibilities, I find this effort personally offensive. My youngest (now 4) threw up so much that he almost failed to thrive.  We had to make sure he got fed three times more a day than he puked.  Literally whenever he opened his mouth we stuck food in it because that was the only way to get enough calories into his body through his mouth.  We fed him high calorie foods, because it meant that if he didn’t throw it up he might actually get enough calories to live or maybe even to grow.  We let him pile margarine on his bread or eat margarine straight, if he wanted, because he was rail-thin and he desperately needed any food at all.
    If they ban this stuff in restaurants, the next thing will be to declare it child abuse to feed your child high calorie meals.  Thank God my son’s over his puking problem now, because these nannies would have had him in  a hospital.
    BTW you speculated: “My guess is she’d not be quite as ready for government bans it they had to do with, oh I don’t know, books or something similar.”  Betcha $5 she supports CPSIA and its “inadvertent” ban on library books that aren’t provably lead-free.
     

    • My daughter also had that problem with food. Besides, kids are growing and need more fat and protein than adults. If you feed them a low cal vegan diet, its not going to end well.

  • McQMy guess is she’d not be quite as ready for government bans it they had to do with, oh I don’t know, books or something similar.

    Oh, I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to that conclusion.  I don’t think it unfair at all to speculate that Ms. Kaplan would be all in favor of banning books that count as “hate speech”, including works by Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Glen Beck, Huckleberry Finn, The Bible, etc, etc.

    On Tuesday, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors took action by prohibiting fast-food restaurants from using toys to lure kids into buying unhealthy meals.

    Does anybody know why children in Santa Clara County don’t have parents, guardians, or some other adult who might stop them buying those unhealthy meals?  Are all children in Santa Clara County orphans or test tube babies?  Or is it a case that all the adults are mentally handicapped or so chronically stoned that they can’t stop their children doing so?  Do we need to send social services in to rescue all the children in the county?

    / sarc

    Once again, I’m reminded of a line from the movie “Night Train to Munich“:

    “Freedom in [nazi] Germany is much better than in other countries: it is carefully controlled and regulated by the state.”

  • Not surprisingly, the toy ban has angered folks who resent government efforts to help Americans eat healthier.

    >>>> Replace “help” with “force” and you’re closer to the truth.

  • “In order to combine trinkets with burgers, chicken nuggets or other children’s fare, a meal must meet some basic nutritional requirements. Among them:….”

    So, so very stupid.

    Watch this:

    If you buy a happy meal, we’ll give you a special deal where you can purchase a toy for just $.50!

    See how easily I get around that stupid law? It’s the clown hour for these people. I don’t know about you but I stopped considering them Americans a long time ago.

  • government efforts to help

    I think we’ve had about as much help from the government as we can possibly stand.

  • A national poll conducted by MediaCurves.com among 301 viewers of a video clip highlighting potential government regulation of toys in fast-food kids’ meals found that majority of parents (82%) reported that the U.S. government should not regulate toys in fast-food kids’ meals. In addition, the majority of parents (77%) indicated that child obesity rates would stay the same if toys were banned from fast-food restaurant meals. Further results can be seen at: http://www.mediacurves.com/NationalMediaFocus/J7792-FastFoodKidsMeals/Index.cfm

  • what about toys in sugary cereals? 

  • if the little porkers want toys with their fat then pedro says let them eat cake.  thanks to the glorious new health care law they’ll get their defibillators for free!

  • This whole toy ban thing is the stupedest thing I have ever heard in my entire life..The toy has nothing to do with luring kids to food it is the parents..The toy is just something extra…I take my kids to mcdonalds or some fast food place at least once a month for a treat and they look forward to it…It is upt to the parents of how much a kid eats not anyone else…I weigh only 112 I am 32 and none of my kids are obese but if sometones chooses that life who the hell is anyone to say they cannot..What happen to america freedom to choose freedom my butt…If that is the case then shut down all fast food places not the toys..Everyone is so worried about everyones health well then shut down all fast food places in the whole darn world..And it is not what you eat it is how much you eat of it…What everyone needs to do is worry about other things than fast food toys and how much people eat..It is really noones business but the person who chooses to do it…so what if people are fat big deal.the only reason you want to ban the toys is because it is free..People need to get a life.

  • Boy banned from eating cheese sandwich
    A two year old boy was banned from eating cheese sandwiches at a council-run nursery unless his parents added a lettuce leaf.
    Jack Ormisher had his packed lunch taken away by staff who said it violated their healthy eating policy.
    When Jack’s father went to pick him up from the Westfield Children’s Centre, in Pemberton, near Wigan, he was told to include lettuce or tomato in future so the sandwich could be classed as a ”snack” rather than ”lunch.”
    The rebuke came after the nursery drew up a list of ”healthy eating options” for youngsters which include various fruit and vegetables plus rice pasta and potatoes.

    • Pick your 5 favorite vulgarities (duplicates are allowed) and two favorite violent physical acts, and you can likely come up with what my reply would have been had I been that father.

  • There are so many people who want to control what their neighbors do. Funny how they always have a good reason to justify their tyranny.

  • solution:
    mcnuggets will be individually packaged and reduced in size.
    sliders will replace hamburger…
    use less bread on the buns, too. cut pickle to reduce sodium
    keep price the same to cover compliance costs.

  • OK, one more point…my child also likes the McDonald’s restaurant for the huge indoor play area.  In fact, I think this is what she likes best about the place – its hard to get her to finish the meal because she’s eyeing the other kids on the equipment running around.
    So, if McDo entices kids in with toys, they also entice kids in with active play areas…doesn’t that seem to offset the nature of the food somewhat?

    • Hmmmmm. Just how sanitary are those play areas?  Your child isobviously being exposed to way too many germs. That play area has to go.

      For the children.