Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rant #372: Ban Stinks

Here we go again, another “I can’t regulate myself, so I have to have the government do it for me” moment.

On Nov. 3, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval for a ban on unhealthy restaurant meals that include toys as enticement for children to consume their products--the so-called "Happy Meal ban," named after the popular McDonald's menu item.

Then on Nov. 9, the ban was approved. So, Happy Meals as they stand--including toys--are banned in San Francisco.

The ban dictates that a restaurant cannot provide an incentive item—such as a trading card, game or other prize--for a menu item that has more than 200 calories or for a meal that tops 600 calories. The law would also prohibit menu items from being sold as children's meals if they contain excessive fat or sodium as well as require that the meal includes at least a half cup of fruit and at least a three-quarter cup of vegetables.

I don’t knock anyone who doesn’t want their kids eating at a fast food joint. That is their right to do as parents, and there are alternatives.

But to legislate an outright ban on these items at local restaurants is completely ridiculous.

If I have said this once I have said it a million times: you do not go to a fast food restaurant to get healthy food. Sure, there are “healthier” items on the menu, but why go to McDonald’s if you are watching what you eat? You can’t watch what you eat and eat at McDonald’s.

So now, if you choose to go into a San Francisco McDonald’s restaurant, you probably won’t be able to get a Happy Meal for your child.

This is completely ridiculous. It takes the decision making out of the parents’ hand and puts it in the government’s hand.

I say let all parents have a choice, and don’t make the choice for them.

And again, if you are watching what your kids are eating, or watching your own wasteline, why would you go into McDonald’s, or any fast food restaurant?

It doesn’t make any sense to me at all.

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