Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keep Your Greasy Hands Off My McNuggets!!!

As a naturally liberal guy, I seldom find myself siding with the Tea Party when it comes to issues of government intervention. Let's face it: a lot of what Uncle Sam does is to protect us from ourselves. Personally, I like the fact that inspecting meats, ensuring kids' toys don't contain lead, and granting Negroes the right to vote isn't something "left up to the States to decide". If that were an absolute in all cases, some of us below the Mason Dixon might still be pickin' cotton.

I'm just sayin'. Some things are better left to the government to decide.

That said, even I think bureaucrats go a bit too far sometimes. A recent case in The City By The Bay shows what happens when "progressives" take the whole "we know what's better for you than you do" ethos a bit too far.
A proposed San Francisco law that would ban toy giveaways with fatty fast-food meals is set to get its first hearing on Monday, as restaurant industry representatives meet with city officials to voice their concerns about the plan.

The proposal would make it illegal for kids meals to come with toys if the meals exceed limits on calories, fat, sugar and salt. It would also require meals that do come with toys to include a half-cup of fruit and three-quarters of a cup of vegetables.

The proposal would apply to all restaurants but appears aimed specifically at fast-food establishments such as McDonald's that include toys in kids meals. Supervisor Eric Mar, who proposed the ban, said the toys draw children to the unhealthy meals, which in turn can contribute to childhood obesity.

Restaurant industry officials say the proposal is an example of government regulation going too far.
This is the rare example where I'd happen to agree that regulation goes too far. While I agree with bans on things like transfats, completely eliminating a toy from a Happy Meal to discourage kids from wanting a burger and fries is just silly. The target demo for Happy Meals doesn't exactly make the purchasing decision on their own.

In short, if a parent wants to fatten their kid up on burgers and fries, they're well within their right. Unless someone can point to some direct correlation between Happy Meal consumption due to desire for a Backyradigans toy, and early childhood obesity (which I doubt), McDonalds is right and San Fran is dead wrong on this one.

Question: Should the gubb'ment keep its hands of your kid's Happy Meal, or is such drastic intervention needed to curb the childhood obesity epidemic? Can you cite any local examples of too much gubb'ment intervention?

Hearing set on San Francisco restaurant toy ban [SJMercNews]

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