Happy Meals Banned in Santa Clara County

In a previous post I mentioned an effort to oust Ronald McDonald from the McDonald's marketing scheme;

The same folks that brought an end to Joe Camel are taking a runat ending the reign of Ronald McDonald, a "deep fried Joe Camel for the 21st Century." Ronald McDonald isn't really that compelling to my kids. If you want to really raise a ruckus try to do away with the Happy Meal. Try to change it's name to the "Sad Meal," or something like that. 

Little did I know that plans were in the works in Santa Clara County, California to do away with the Happy Meal and other unhealthy fast food meals with toy surprises. The LA Times reports;

Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children's meals will soon be banned in parts of Santa Clara County unless the restaurants meet nutritional guidelines approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.

"This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's' love of toys" to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. "This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes."

I have mixed feelings about this. My kids love for a cheeseburger and fries does not seem to be too swayed by toys. It's more of a bonus than a deal breaker. I've never heard them say, "Oh I can't get the toy. Then I think I'll have the salad." (The irony at McDonalds is that the salad has more calories than the Happy Meal.) The good thing about a Happy Meal is that the portions are small and when we used to get them we'd get the apples and plain milk instead of fries and soda. I don't think a food police state is the answer to our current food dilemmas.

That being said, I was a little confused by this statement

But Steve Peat, who owns seven McDonald's franchises in Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties, said he and his wife work hard to promote healthy lifestyles for children through their restaurant.

DoctorsmokeIf they're going to say things like that maybe it does need to be regulated. That statement reminds me of the old cigarette commercials with Doctors promoting the health of camel cigarettes.

Put Steve Peat's face on that ad with a chicken nugget in his hand saying, "We work hard to promote healthy lifestyles for children." That's about how that statement comes across to me.