Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 28

Thread: Attack of the Food Police: Why The Government has No Business Banning Happy Meals

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    34,697

    Default Attack of the Food Police: Why The Government has No Business Banning Happy Meals

    The government tells us what medicines we may take and what recreational substances we may ingest, but when it comes to food, we decide what goes down our gullets. Gun-owning barbecuers coexist peacefully with Humane Society vegans. To paraphrase the old adage, your freedom ends where my stomach begins.

    But not everyone is keen on emancipated eating. Public health puritans, appalled at the spread of excess weight, think the government should forcefully guide our dining choices. And when it comes to policy, they are getting a place at the table.

    Last week, the San Francisco board of supervisors voted to hose the Happy Meal. No longer would McDonald's (or any other restaurant) be allowed to provide a free toy with a meal that exceeds specified amounts of fat, sugar, and calories. If the folks at the Golden Arches want to offer a Batman action figure, it will have to be flanked by fruits and vegetables.

    The impulse to overrule nutritional choices exists elsewhere too. In his last two budgets, New York's Democratic Gov. David Paterson proposed a tax on soda.

    The governor says this would help cover "the $7.6 billion the state spends every year to treat diseases from obesity." Reuters reports, ominously, that he "did not dismiss the idea of eventually imposing a tax on other obesity-linked foods such as hamburgers and chocolate bars."

    San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar speaks in more grandiose terms. He said the Happy Meal ordinance addresses "a survival issue," and proclaimed, "We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice." Food justice?

    Now, there are many places where the government ought to be: between a citizen and a mugger, between the polluter and the sky, between us all and al-Qaida. But the space between a diner's hand and a diner's mouth is not one of them.

    The nice thing about eating is that the person who makes good or bad choices is the one who reaps the reward or penalty. If I scarf a cheesecake, you don't gain weight. And if I decide that consigning myself to the Big and Tall Store is not such a bad option, it's not your place to stop me from doing so.

    You don't like what's in a Happy Meal? Don't let your kid have one.

    High-calorie food is not one of those substances that presents a mortal threat to innocent bystanders. Guzzle a liter of Fanta, and you can still be trusted behind the wheel of a car. Walk by a KFC, and you don't have to worry about secondhand fat.

    True, my gluttony may cause me to end up morbidly obese and a burden on the medical system. But if that's grounds for regulation, we will all soon be surrendering our TV remotes to the police and doing daily calisthenics under the watchful eye of commissars in spandex.

    As it happens, soda taxes may affect only the people who don't need affecting. California Polytechnic State University economists Michael Marlow and Alden Shiers, writing in Regulation magazine, noted data showing that "taxes on alcohol consumption significantly lower drinking by light drinkers, but not heavy drinkers." One study found that a 58 percent tax on soda would "drop the average body mass by only 0.16 points"—on a scale of 30.

    Restrictions on fatty food are no more promising. Suppose a 5-year-old has a Happy Meal every week (which is how often new toys appear). Economist Michael Anderson of the University of California at Berkeley tells me that while a child who dines on fast food may get a couple of hundred extra calories, that's not much compared to the 11,000 calories she is likely to eat in a week.

    Besides, people who are diverted from the Golden Arches have plenty of other cheap, tasty, artery-clogging options. "If they don't eat at McDonald's, are they going to go home and eat broccoli and brown rice?" asks Anderson.

    Fat chance. His research shows that people who live in places with fast-food restaurants are more likely to eat out, but no more likely to be obese.

    The stubborn fact is that people who are intent on doing things that expand their dimensions to an unhealthy degree can always find ways to do so. Ditto for governments.

    Attack of the Food Police - Reason Magazine



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  2. #2
    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    31,314

    Default

    So, so true. I read about this going on in SF and as much as I love that city, this is ridiculous. Nobody is laboring under the delusions that a steady McDonald's diet is healthy in the least. And like the article said, it's not as if restricting McD's is going to result in people eating brown rice and veggies instead. If they choose to eat crap, that's their business. The gov't has more pressing issues to concern itself with, and it's a waste of time and resources to make it a nanny state for what kind of junk food you put in your mouth.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Milliways
    Posts
    60,171

    Default

    So why doesn't McDonalds just offer a choice of regular fatty nutrition free meals without the toy or the meal with fruit and veg and a toy?
    "But I am very poorly today & very stupid & I hate everybody & everything." -- Charles Darwin

    "Trump is, in my opinion, the first woman president of the United States." -- Roseanne Barr

  4. #4
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    34,423

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    So why doesn't McDonalds just offer a choice of regular fatty nutrition free meals without the toy or the meal with fruit and veg and a toy?
    You can get a hamburger happy meal with apple dippers on the side, along with a low-fat milk. That would be about 450 total calories, with 108 of them from fat (12 total grams of fat). That is below the goal of less than 25% of your calories from fat.

    So, to me, it sounds as if San Fran is trying to foolproof the Happy Meal - in other words, it's not good enough to have an alternative that meets the standard, but instead only offer meals that meet the standard.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Milliways
    Posts
    60,171

    Default

    Kids want the toy. That's the primary selling point, not the food. McDonalds uses that to get people to buy specific products. They could just as easily make a decent and tasty meal with a toy if they wanted to.
    "But I am very poorly today & very stupid & I hate everybody & everything." -- Charles Darwin

    "Trump is, in my opinion, the first woman president of the United States." -- Roseanne Barr

  6. #6
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    34,423

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    Kids want the toy. That's the primary selling point, not the food. McDonalds uses that to get people to buy specific products. They could just as easily make a decent and tasty meal with a toy if they wanted to.
    My kids would eat the food even if there were no toy. But the toy is a big draw, especially when you have McDonald's giving them away in collector sets, which I believe is a big key in drawing people back multiple times.

  7. #7
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    34,697

    Default

    ^ When I was a kid we always wanted McDonalds, long before there even was a happy meal or a toy. My father would never let us have it ( he loathes fast food). He used to tell us the hamburgers were 'chopped vietcong'.



    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  8. #8
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    in a van down by the river
    Posts
    39,422

    Default

    i buy the Happy meals for me. The portions are ideal for me, because i don't eat much. I keep the toy and give it to the neighbor kid. its a win win.

  9. #9
    Elite Member louiswinthorpe111's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Middle America
    Posts
    14,167

    Default

    My kids could give a shit about the food, they only want the toy. I never buy them anyways, I make them eat off the $1 menu.
    RELIGION: Treat it like it's your genitalia. Don't show it off in public, and don't shove it down your children's throats.

  10. #10
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    34,423

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    ^ When I was a kid we always wanted McDonalds, long before there even was a happy meal or a toy. My father would never let us have it ( he loathes fast food). He used to tell us the hamburgers were 'chopped vietcong'.
    I ate there all the time. I still love the Big Mac - needless to say, I am a (skinny) food Philistine.

    Do you remember this old ditty? (I just taught it to my kids):

    McDonald's is my kind of place
    They serve me rattlesnakes
    Hamburger up my nose
    French fries between my toes
    Last time I was there, they stole my underwear
    McDonald's is my kind of place.

  11. #11
    Elite Member SHELLEE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Florida Keys
    Posts
    24,533

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    ^ When I was a kid we always wanted McDonalds, long before there even was a happy meal or a toy. My father would never let us have it ( he loathes fast food). He used to tell us the hamburgers were 'chopped vietcong'.
    We alway's heard that the burgers were chopped kangaroo.
    See, Whores, we are good for something. Love, Florida
    #fingersinthebootyassbitch

  12. #12
    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    in a van down by the river
    Posts
    39,422

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SHELLEE View Post
    We alway's heard that the burgers were chopped kangaroo.
    Jack in the Box had a rumor going around that their taco meat was kangaroo.

  13. #13
    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Wherever my kids are
    Posts
    34,423

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by msdeb View Post
    Jack in the Box had a rumor going around that their taco meat was kangaroo.
    Is that so bad, though? When I was in Sydney, one of the stores there sold kangaroo jerky.

    Also crocodile, emu, and shark jerky.

  14. #14
    Elite Member WhoAmI's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    4,371

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    So why doesn't McDonalds just offer a choice of regular fatty nutrition free meals without the toy or the meal with fruit and veg and a toy?
    That's what they would be required to do: offer a regular Happy Meal WITHOUT the toy or offer a healthier meal WITH a toy.

  15. #15
    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Hanging with the raisin girls
    Posts
    15,036

    Default

    I don't want to live in a nanny state. FFS, if your worried about your kids health, drive PAST McDonalds.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. More working families getting government food aid
    By celeb_2006 in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: October 23rd, 2010, 03:12 AM
  2. Replies: 17
    Last Post: May 3rd, 2010, 08:04 PM
  3. Replies: 63
    Last Post: April 15th, 2010, 11:50 AM
  4. Fast food meals under 500 calories
    By fgg in forum Food and Cuisine
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: September 4th, 2009, 05:13 AM
  5. Replies: 8
    Last Post: September 14th, 2008, 08:31 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •