I know this is an old story, but this needs to stay fresh in our minds, especially over this Memorial Day weekend.Â In lovely Santa Clara county of the small, clean and quiet city of San Jose, CA people are having problems.Â Concerned parents fear that restaurants like McDonald’s are teaching their kids terrible lessons about fast food:
“This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on childrenâ€™s love of toysâ€ to sell high caloric, unhealthful food, said supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure. â€œThis ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.â€
Most people disagree with this line of thinking.Â Shouldn’t parents be around to teach their children proper values and healthy eating habits?Â Why aren’t they buying toys for their kids upon cleaning their plate of every last snow pea?
This ordinance devastates me.Â I have fond memories of my parents going out on “date night.”Â It was usually about once or twice a month (if they were lucky) and a baby-sitter was hired.Â We would watch TGIF on TBS and most importantly get McDonald’s, quite the rarity in our house.Â A Happy Meal is a miniature Christmas, a time when all ill environments dissipate into a greedy, greasy heaven.Â The toys were cheap, shoddy and usually a play on whatever Disney movie was huge at the time.Â And they were amazing.
Did I feel rewarded?Â Yes, yes I did.Â I was the greatest kid ever, and do you know why?Â Because I almost had the entire set of Happy Meal toys from the Aladdin movie and you didn’t.Â SO THERE.
Am I obese because of the McDonald’s I ate once or twice a month?Â No.Â I’m slightly overweight because of chips and salsa and beer.Â That is my own damn fault, and McDonald’s and my parents have nothing to do with it.
My favorite portion of the article involves a councilman who voted against banning the Happy Meal, especially the way he is portrayed:
Gage, who is himself overweight, said he was a living example of how obese children can become obese adults.
But he questioned the role of fast-food toys. â€œWhen I was growing up in Gilroy 65 years ago, there were no fast-food restaurants,â€ Gage said.
See, there were fat people before fast food.Â The logic is hilarious.
Since the ordinance passed, 30 days have gone by and the Santa Clara McDonald’s have another 60 days to meet the health regulations set down by the county to keep the toys.Â I’d like all of you to take a moment during your holiday weekend to think about McDonald’s Happy Meals and the roles they played in shaping your lives.
Also, let’s not forget how rad these Tranformers Happy Meal toys were.