Thursday, November 04, 2010

Ronald not smiling this time

McDonald's is not too happy even though some of their meals are. City authorities in San Francisco voted to ban Happy Meals and any meal for children giving away toys that don't meet certain nutritional standards. If the law passes a second vote, they would be the first city in America to impose such a ban.

If the law takes effect in December 2011, San Francisco restaurants would be allowed to include a toy with a meal only if the food and drink in the meal contain fewer than 600 calories, less than 640 milligrams of sodium and if less than 35 per cent of the calories are derived from fat (less than 10 per cent from saturated fat), except for fat contained in nuts, seeds, eggs or low-fat cheese. Meals must also contain 1/2 cup or more of fruit and 3/4 cup or more of vegetables. A breakfast meal must contain at least 1/2 cup of fruit or vegetables.

So, the question - is this good government? Should government be forcing restaurants to increase their standards of healthy food options for children or the public in general? Or is this a case of government trying to do what parents aren't doing on their own?

Then the bigger question is if parents aren't feeding their kids healthy food or themselves for that matter, how does society promote a healthy lifestyle without impinging on consumer rights? Should eaters of unhealthy fast food pay a premium on their health care?

All good questions worthy of discussion.

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