Today, Happy Meals, Tomorrow…
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors, equivalent to a City Council, voted on Tuesday to ban toys in fast food meals that contained more than 600 calories. While the Mayor of San Francisco has promised to veto the bill, he may be overruled since it passed the Board by a vote of 8-3.
While this overreaching city council law may not set forth a disturbing trend, just the fact that a major city has passed this law has sent a shiver down my spine. Frankly, I’m not convinced that this is one liberal group of politicians won’t influence other cities to try similar insane laws, just like this one.
Let’s take a closer look at the San Francisco law by asking the question, who this law is really aimed at.
It certainly can’t be aimed the enlightened elite of San Francisco who have almost certainly not stooped low enough to enter a McDonald’s lately, let alone purchase a Happy Meal. That segment of San Francisco society apparently is smart enough to know how to raise their kids.
No, this law is for another segment in our society, the one that is too ignorant to raise its own children. This law says that there is an entire group of people that simply can’t resist feeding their kids French Fries and Chicken McNuggets. And since they can’t handle the job, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors will be more than happy to do it for them.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in some regulation regarding safety and education. I’ve read The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, and I believe there is a place for the government in our lives.
However, laws like this can set a very dangerous precedent. If we are going to allow laws like this because they fly under the flag of preventing childhood obesity, what won’t we allow? If we are too ignorant to feed our own kids, what else are we too ignorant to do?
Are we too ignorant to force our kids to eat only a sensible amount of Halloween candy in one sitting? Science has proven that elevated levels of sugar can lead to childhood diabetes, so when will the government save us from ourselves and dictate that people only give out sugar free candy at Halloween?
What about my regular over-eating on Thanksgiving? Do you know how many calories are in Pumpkin Pie? And my aunt’s Pecan Pie is even more fattening! What kind of uncle am I if I allow my nephews to eat as much Pumpkin Pie as they want, and let them eat Pecan Pie less than an hour later? When will the government step in and save my nephews from their uncle who is so ignorantly spoiling them?
I realize these examples may seem a bit far fetched, but if I would have told you ten years ago that toys in Happy Meals would be targeted because they promote fattening meals, you would have laughed at me then too.
But again, this isn’t just about government officials telling me and you how to raise our children. This is more about one class telling another class what to do.
I don’t see the San Francisco Board of Supervisors dictating how much Foie Gras can be served to one person at fancy restaurants. Is that because Foie Gras isn’t harmful, or is it because wealthy people are smart enough to take a Spinning class after they indulge in fattening food?
And if that is the case, that some people are smart enough to handle fattening foods, and some simply aren’t, how far away are we from solving the overall obesity problem in a different way?
If gasoline was taxed by 300-400%, it would likely mean that only one class of people could afford to drive. That would force the rest of us to walk off those extra pounds as we wait for the bus. If we don’t start watching our weight, someone is going to have to start watching it for us.
Again, far fetched, but is it really that far fetched?
In the meantime, I plan to buy my nephews as many Happy Meals as I can, while I can. Happy Meals just won’t be the same a few years from now when they only contain Broccoli and Multiplication flash cards.
- by Dominic Dezzutti