By Corina cuevas / Staff Writer
By Corina cuevas / Staff Writer
Good-bye happy meal toys, hello nutrition; in Santa Clara County, that is.
The battle between happy meal toys and nutrition is over with a 3 to 2 vote in favor of the ban after a thorough meeting.
As a compromise to win majority support, the five-member Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors agreed to put off implementing the measure for 90 days. The fast-food industry was given time to come up with a voluntary program for improving the nutritional value of children’s meals, writes the Los Angeles Times.
Ken Yeager, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, wanted to take out the toys of McDonald’s happy meals, specifically in Santa Clara County, in order to help fight against America’s obesity epidemic that targets children.
The proposal was risky but passed with a 3 to 2 vote in Santa Clara.
Evidently, children’s love of happy meal toys has become a crime.
The toys should not be blamed for the increasing rates of obesity.
The ones who are at fault are the irresponsible parents that do not impose a healthy diet for their children to follow.
Because of this, the ones who get blamed are restaurants like McDonald’s that is simply doing its job.
Yes, it’s true that the McDonald’s happy meal toys lure children to go in and eat but what other company doesn’t use the same strategy?
The media exploits all of its resources, especially advertising, to lure in all sorts of people into buying things, not just children.
Why doesn’t Yeager also ban hamburgers, French fries and soft drinks from other fast-food places in Santa Clara?
Many adults are also obese, so why not ban every high-calorie unhealthy food for everyone to make matters even?
He doesn’t do it because he can’t.
Unlike children, adults can do whatever they want at their own expense.
Children, on the other hand, are out of luck.
They rely on their parents for proper nutritional habits which often times result in going into McDonald’s or other fast-food restaurants for a quick meal.
Not long ago, McDonald’s introduced a combination of healthy foods to improve the way children eat.
These foods include and are not limited to apple sticks instead of French fries as well as servings of milk or yogurt to provide a nutritious meal for children.
The introduction of these healthier happy meal combinations shows that McDonald’s is trying to help out in the fight against child obesity in America.
This ban is a clever, but unjustified, measure.
Dr. Dan Delgado, director of a county program that targets childhood obesity, told the supervisors that parents who come into his clinic say they often buy Happy Meals and other fast food for their children because of the toys that are included, writes the Los Angeles Times.
This proves that the ones who are to blame for children’s obesity are parents, not happy meal toys.
Parents are the ones who are supposed to set an example for children.
The fact that some parents are manipulated by their 3 year old son or daughter into buying a happy meal is simply ridiculous.
Good parenting doesn’t mean that parents do what ever their children want.
Good parenting involves discipline and rules as well as teaching children that they can’t always have what they want and this includes happy meals.
Is this man taking the happy out of a happy meal?
Of course he is.
The ban of the traditional happy meal toy was unnecessary.
It’s like eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with no peanut butter.
The toy is what makes the happy meal “happy,” literally.
What will McDonald’s replace the word “happy” with now that the toy is gone in Santa Clara County?
It is difficult to know but what is certain is that the meal no longer represents happiness.
Yeager says that the ban of the happy meal toys breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.
If that is so, then what must be done to break the link between unsafe sex and unwanted pregnancies; hate and violence; drugs and alcohol?
Those are some real and important issues to think about.
Yeager was successful in the ban of the happy meal toy in Santa Clara County.
Only time will tell if this man will be able to persuade and encourage the ban of happy meal toys in other counties.
For now, those children who have the opportunity to enjoy their meal with a toy must take full advantage.
Who knows, their county may be next to eliminate that cherished toy.
The ban of the happy meal toy is certainly turning smiles into frowns in Santa Clara County.
Children have been deprived of enjoying a simple meal with the company of an admired animated figure.
Now restaurants like McDonald’s must decide what is going to fill up the empty space of the happy meal now that the toy is gone.