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California's Santa Clara County Bans Happy Meal Toys

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the when-self-righteousness-attacks dept.

Government 756

WrongSizeGlass writes "The L.A. Times is reporting that Santa Clara County officials have voted to ban toys and other promotions that restaurants offer with high-calorie children's meals. '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.' Supervisor Donald Gage, who voted against the measure, said, 'If you can't control a 3-year-old child for a toy, God save you when they get to be teenagers.' The vote was 3 - 2 in favor of the ban."

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756 comments

I swear.... (5, Insightful)

Em Emalb (452530) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019156)

California may as well be a whole 'nother country.

I know, let's not bother with that thing known as personal responsibility, let's legislate EVERYTHING!

Hey parents, your kids wouldn't be so fat if you didn't feed them crap food and let them sit on their butts in front of the t.v. all day and night.

Re:I swear.... (5, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019372)

I know, let's not bother with that thing known as personal responsibility, let's legislate EVERYTHING!

Whole heartedly agree!

I don't even know if it's so much personal responsibility, as that means responsibility for one's self. This is about parental responsibility. Which makes me laugh when I read, "This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys..." Kids shouldn't have a say. If the parents are doing their jobs, it won't matter who the restaurants prey upon.

Besides, it not so much the toys that bring 'em in. It's parent's being too lazy/busy to make dinner for their child. As a parent, I can understand this as my wife and I work three jobs between us and go to school. Sometimes, it's kinda nice to eat out on the cheap. (We do Chick-fil-A. Does that count as crap food?) The toy is just a bonus to keep our child busy long enough so we can finish our meals with some level of peace. (Besides, I like to play with them too)

What's next? Are they going to ban the playgrounds, clown mascotts and kid's clubs?

Re:I swear.... (3, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019778)

I still stop by McDonald's/Burger King when they have nifty toys. Usually they'll sell you just the toy for around a buck or so. They're good for having around when friends bring their kids along to board game night.

As for the Granola State (land of fruits, nuts, and flakes), yeah. Must be something in the water out there that makes them all insane.

Honestly, what are they going to do next? Ban Cracker Jack boxes? The crap coming in those barely qualifies as a "toy" these days.

Re:I swear.... (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019384)

Hey parents, your kids wouldn't be so fat if you didn't feed them crap food and let them sit on their butts in front of the t.v. all day and night.

The kids are just doing what the parents are doing.

Re:I swear.... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019452)

Yep. America is now third or fourth generation lardass. It's a downward spiral the parents grew up that way, their kids will be worse.

Re:I swear.... (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019472)

Yes, preventing corporations from taking advantage is a bad thing.

Seriously, sometimes it's about personal responsibility, but other times it's about other things - and this is one of those times. Give the 'personal responsibility' kneejerk a rest and think sometimes.

Re:I swear.... (4, Insightful)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019540)

Yes, preventing corporations from taking advantage is a bad thing.

I wasn't aware that including a toy with a meal was "taking advantage"

Re:I swear.... (3, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019476)

My daughter quickly learned that Burger King and McDonalds had toys. That didn't mean I had to take her there. If she really wants to go to a fast food place and get a toy, I take her to Subway and get her a turkey sandwich.

Responsible parenting isn't all that hard.

It really gets me that people who scream so loudly about freedom and liberty and usually the ones who want to take it away piece by piece with legislation.

Re:I swear.... (4, Funny)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019586)

My daughter quickly learned that Burger King and McDonalds had toys. That didn't mean I had to take her there. If she really wants to go to a fast food place and get a toy, I take her to Subway and get her a turkey sandwich.

I just love playing with those Subway turkey sandwiches. The best part is that when you're done you don't have to put away your new toy ... you just eat it! Mmmm, funlicious!

Re:I swear.... (4, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019488)

Well this is what happens when you revive Feudalism. The commoners are too stupid to run their own lives, so we need the Lords to decide what they can and can not have.

Re:I swear.... (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019510)

I know, let's not bother with that thing known as personal responsibility, let's legislate EVERYTHING!

While I agree with you in theory it's obvious that parents are not doing their jobs so government must step in SOMETIMES. Besides, how the hell is this a science post? It must be a slow day at Slashdot.

Re:I swear.... (2, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019570)

While I agree with you in theory it's obvious that parents are not doing their jobs so government must step in SOMETIMES.

How is taking away the happy meal toy "stepping in"? The parents who are so irresponsible as to allow their kids to live off this crap aren't going there for the free toys. They are going there because they are too lazy and/or stupid to come up with a better choice at dinnertime.

Re:I swear.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019652)

It's why I moved.

I got sick of all this crap, and the court system there is practically insane.

My kid LOVES happy meal toys. Doesn't mean I ever take him to get happy meals or whatnot - it's something 'special' for when we're on a road trip. We might stop at a fast food place off the side of the freeway on occasion.

Re:I swear.... (2, Insightful)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019664)

California may as well be a whole 'nother country.

I know, let's not bother with that thing known as personal responsibility, let's legislate EVERYTHING!

Hey parents, your kids wouldn't be so fat if you didn't feed them crap food and let them sit on their butts in front of the t.v. all day and night.

Well, the sad truth is, we're all being so fucking stupid that it actually makes *sense* for them to do this. Parents *should* take care of their kids, but they're not and our whole country is getting fucking fat. We keep trying fitness promotion and all kinds of shit, but everyone just keeps getting fatter.

I'm not sure if its better to legislate us when we're being this fucking stupid, or let us all just kill ourselves. I don't approve of unnecessary legislation like this, but you sure have to wonder how the hell we're going to solve our fat fucking problem!
-Taylor

Crazy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019158)

Yet another reason why I continue to avoid California. When will the crazy stop?

Re:Crazy (2, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019186)

Why? It seems like a damn good idea to me.

Ob: http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jamie_oliver.html [ted.com]

Re:Crazy (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019270)

How does banning toys in Happy Meals follow along with what Jamie Oliver is doing? Is there some provision to actually educate anyone?

Re:Crazy (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019376)

Simple: "It's a start".

Rewarding kids with toys because they go to McDonalds isn't helping the educational process.

Re:Crazy (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019302)

Yes, legislating behavior is an awesome deal.

Lets ban drugs, alcohol, sodium, and internet usage as well.

Re:Crazy (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019762)

Lets ban drugs, alcohol, sodium, and internet usage as well.

We've already banned #1 and tried to ban #2. Politicians are hard at work on #3. Don't give them any ideas regarding #4.....

Re:Crazy (4, Interesting)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019392)

First, let me say this. I'm totally on board with Jamie Oliver, love what the guy is trying to do, etc etc. I think his "revolution" show is only vaguely based on the reality of the people he's covering, but he's gotta sell ads for his network so he can keep buying food for his family, and it doesn't detract from the good that such a revolution could do.

Having said all that... Here's a tip: If the kid never learns that McDonald's meals come with toys, the toys cannot be used to sell the food.

But the shitty plastic toys are as bad for brain development as the shitty fatty food is for body development. And the shitty mind pablum TV that the shitty food and the shitty toys are advertised on is even worse.

Stay away from the King, the Clown, and the young girl with the red pigtails. There is absolutely nothing inside those four walls that your kid needs, or that is in any way good for your kid.

We don't need laws against using plastic crap to sell crap food. We need to make good healthy food as affordable as crap food, and show people how easy it is to feed it to their kids. We need to get rid of the plastic crap and go back to durable toys that last and foster imagination and free play. We don't need our congresscritters to pass "Save the Children" laws to do this for us, because those almost always backfire.

(Example from the show: like making Jamie take his pasta-and-vegetables off the food line because it didn't have enough vegetables, then stating that french fries DO count as a full vegetable when it was replaced with prepared crap).

So wait... (5, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019178)

...they ban the toys, but keep the crap food? Don't get me wrong, I think it's the responsability of parents to keep track of what their kids ingest, not the governement's...but I still can't help but be reminded of our good friend George Carlin:

"...now they're banning toy guns, AND THEY'RE GONNA KEEP THE FUCKIN' REAL ONES!"

Re:So wait... (0, Offtopic)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019434)

...they ban the toys, but keep the crap food?

Note to anyone with mod points. This doesn't deserve "funny", it deserves "insightful". LOTS AND LOTS of "insightful".

Re:So wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019592)

Thanks for clarifying that; certainly things can't be both, but should be only one or the other.

Same fate as Joe Camel (1, Insightful)

Orga (1720130) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019184)

This is an old argument. If you want to defend the happy meal then you need to defend Joe Camel too.

Re:Same fate as Joe Camel (2, Insightful)

nebaz (453974) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019224)

Joe Camel isn't the happy meal, Joe Camel is Ronald McDonald, Grimace, and Mayor McCheese. And the playgrounds on the facility.

Re:Same fate as Joe Camel (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019528)

Whoa, Camel cigarette stores have a ball pit and free Wi-Fi? Awesome.

Why doesn't my liquor store have a rockin' climbing gym? CALL MY ASSEMBLYMAN!

Re:Same fate as Joe Camel (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019662)

Why doesn't my liquor store have a rockin' climbing gym? CALL MY ASSEMBLYMAN!

I wonder how much the liability insurance of a liquor store would increase if people were encouraged to drink at the store then go hit the climbing wall.

Re:Same fate as Joe Camel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019260)

Almost, but not quite. You have to be a certain age to buy tobacco.

Re:Same fate as Joe Camel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019644)

What's wrong with Joe Camel? If you're going to claim anything animated is for children, do I ever have some anime to show you (Guy Double Target should do nicely for starters [if that doesn't convince you, we can move progressively on through "La Blue Girl", "Bible Black New Testament", "Urotsukidoji", and "Flare 1&2 Legend of Lyon" until you're ready to cry uncle])!

As far as I'm concerned, Camel should be able to make their mascot whatever they want - that includes a cartoon character.

Parents doing their job?? (2, Insightful)

cmuench (878624) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019192)

Wow so where exactly does it say government officials have to regulate every thing about our lives? And they think that just cause a meal has a toy the kid is going to want it and also the parent will give in? What happened to parents parenting???

Re:Parents doing their job?? (1)

abigor (540274) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019450)

Do you think it's okay to allow children to buy cigarettes and booze? After all, parents should be parenting, right? And yes, junk food is just as bad as those things.

Re:Parents doing their job?? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019794)

Do you think it's okay to allow children to buy cigarettes and booze?

Why not? It's not like they can't get them anyway. Better to buy them at your local 711 than from the shady looking guy behind the dumpster....

Re:Parents doing their job?? (2, Insightful)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019498)

What if I want to buy a happy meal because it actually gets you a nice amount of food from mcdonalds (4 pc nuggets, little bit of fries, a smaller drink)?

I usually get some small temporary enjoyment out of whatever piece of crap toy they give me...

Re:Parents doing their job?? (1)

vxice (1690200) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019548)

As much as I hate to say it, this law does make some sense. The one being punished is the child not the parent when they get stuck with a stupid parent. So unless you want to ban people from having kids if they can't pass a child raising class or you want to call child services on bad parents. One more option is that the gov't raises all of our kids for us by professional child raisers, why would trust amateurs raising our little leaders of tomorrow?

Re:Parents doing their job?? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019584)

Wow so where exactly does it say government officials have to regulate every thing about our lives?
And they think that just cause a meal has a toy the kid is going to want it and also the parent will give in?
What happened to parents parenting???

Now, now. We all know it takes a village to raise a child.

OK, sarc off. IMHO, only an incompetent parent would let a village raise their child!

Re:Parents doing their job?? (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019738)

Wow so where exactly does it say government officials have to regulate every thing about our lives?

I dunno, according to certain politicians that's the whole reason behind the Commerce Clause. Or was it the Good and Welfare Clause?

Problem with TFS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019210)

...prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys

Unless the kids are eating the plastic. I suppose some kids do.

High calorie toys (1)

diskofish (1037768) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019212)

This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys

Normally, toys are not eaten and therfore not considered high calorie.

Ban Cracker Jack, too. (5, Insightful)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019216)

And Christmas while they're at it. Dumbasses. This stupidity will not likely have any negative repercussions, aside from McDonalds franchises in the area having to come up with procedures to de-toy their happy meals. But what I suspect will happen is that the kids won't really want the happy meal without the toy, so the parent will take the cheaper route and get them a burger and fries from the dollar menu. With more calories than what they would have gotten in the happy meal. And no toy.

high-calorie toys (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019228)

"to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys"

Typo (0, Redundant)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019234)

This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys

I didn't know that toys were measured in calories these days.

Ban bad copypasta (4, Informative)

richdun (672214) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019246)

What the article says:

"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.

What the summary says:

'This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure.

Power is its own end. (5, Insightful)

bmajik (96670) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019252)

Queue up the Dr. Ferris speech about the real purpose of the law.

Controlling people. Not even for their own good, but merely for the sake of weilding control.

That is politics in America today.

Re:Power is its own end. (1)

bolthole (122186) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019560)

Queue up the Dr. Ferris speech about the real purpose of the law.

Controlling people. Not even for their own good, but merely for the sake of weilding control.

That is politics in America today.

No, politics in America today, is solely for the purpose of increasing sales of tinfoil hats.
I'm presuming you already have yours...

Re:Power is its own end. (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019566)

And the European Union. If you think intrusive legislation is bad in the US, you ought to see what the central Parliament's been doing this past year. They regulate all kinds of crap.

Re:Power is its own end. (2, Insightful)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019782)

Queue up the Dr. Ferris speech about the real purpose of the law.

Controlling people. Not even for their own good, but merely for the sake of weilding control.

That is politics in America today.

No, i really disagree. You may want to complain about every piece of legislation being just so "the man" can "keep us down", but however misguided or stupid this legislation may be, I can at least understand that the people making it weren't just trying to control us, they actually believe this is helpful. You ought to be able to see that.

When you claim the government has evil intent when they're obviously just being stupid, no one is going to listen to you.
-Taylor

Welcome to Obamanation (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019256)

What else to be said?

Re:Welcome to Obamanation (2, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019334)

Seriously? So a county located in a state makes a law like this, yet it is somehow Obama's fault? Look. Obama has done a lot of things wrong, there is no denying that...but can't you look away from the talking points for just one second? Please? If not for Slashdot, at least for the sake of whatever intelligence you may have?

Re:Welcome to Obamanation (2, Insightful)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019502)

I 100% agree that the President (be it Republican or Democrat) receives way too much credit and blame for everything that happens in a country. This is a clear case of an individual county making a decision, not Obama. However, it does match Obama's philosophy of regulating everything, massive govnernment control, etc.

As a parent of two children... (5, Interesting)

pnuema (523776) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019266)

...this is a great idea. I had to institute a rule in my house that no toys were allowed with food. I found that when I forbid the kids from having the toys, when I gave them a choice of restaurants for dinner, they were much more likely to chose one with better food. It seems that the toys were a large part of the draw...take that away, and they were much more likely to eat something healthy.

Re:As a parent of two children... (0, Troll)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019328)

When your kids get older are you going to be in favor of a ban on alcohol as well?

Re:As a parent of two children... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019358)

How did you manage that before it was a law?

Re:As a parent of two children... (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019374)

So if you figured out a system that worked by yourself...how does this legislation help you in any way?

Re:As a parent of two children... (2, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019616)

Oh, no you're missing the point. GPP's seen the light, and has found the ONLY GOOD WAY to deal with the issue. And now we can "encourage" everyone to do THE ONLY GOOD THING. After all, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

The best of all worlds: smug self-righteousness enforced with State Power. It's a popular and time-tested combination.

Re:As a parent of two children... (5, Insightful)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019428)

It's not a great idea.

As a parent myself, I just tell my kids that fast food is unhealthy in that it has a lot of calories and fat in it. I think we need to be aware of what lesson we're teaching. The point I want them to learn is not that $PARENT won't let them buy a toy with their lunch, it's that some foods eaten more than sparingly will do bad things to you. They naturally ask, so I just tell them the truth. You'll get fat. You'll feel lethargic. You'll develop diseases later in life like diabetes. Your arteries will clog with crap.

Sadly, it's all too easy to just ask them to look around the school. The consequences of bad food choices and a sedentary lifestyle are all over the place.

Re:As a parent of two children... (4, Insightful)

SmackTheIgnorant (985978) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019464)

As a parent of a 7 year old daughter, I can safely say that she wants McDonalds to JUST get the toy - McDonalds tends to get all the Disney / Dreamworks / ____ movie toys, and it's a huge draw for her. I tell her no toy, and she'll want to eat elsewhere. If I had points, I'd mod you up. As is, I can only knowingly nod and smile in agreement.

Re:As a parent of two children... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019618)

I'll ask you the same thing I asked the parent: how did you manage to tell your daughter "no" without this law?

Re:As a parent of two children... (2, Insightful)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019604)

...this is a great idea. I had to institute a rule in my house that no toys were allowed with food. I found that when I forbid the kids from having the toys, when I gave them a choice of restaurants for dinner, they were much more likely to chose one with better food. It seems that the toys were a large part of the draw...take that away, and they were much more likely to eat something healthy.

As a parent, that's your right. But it doesn't seem that as a government, that right belongs with the county. This is no different from laws banning any "immoral" behavior -- it's the government meddling where it has no business doing so.

Re:As a parent of two children... (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019632)

"Well, it worked for me, so everybody else should be forced by law to do the same thing!"

Re:As a parent of two children... (3, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019690)

Some parents they it's their job to parent OUR children too, and they use government to make it happen:

i.e. banning our free choice to get happy meals with toys. I find these parents annoying, because they are basically insulting my intelligence, by presuming they know better than I do, how to be a parent.

Re:As a parent of two children... (1)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019702)

I completely applaud your decisive, take-charge attitude about raising your kids. But while it may be a "great idea" for you, governments shouldn't dictate that it's a great idea for all the other parents.

I give it less than 50 years... (1, Flamebait)

AthleteMusicianNerd (1633805) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019282)

before it's illegal to have a dick in this state.

Re:I give it less than 50 years... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019432)

But you'll be able to smoke all the pot you want!!!

Please correct summary (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019284)

Currently: 'This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys, said Supervisor Ken Yeager, who sponsored the measure.

Should be: '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.

(Captcha: Excuses)

Parent's Job, not Government's (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019320)

I'm not anti-regulation, but this is objectionable. Don't they have more important legislation to pass?

I'm the parent of a five year old, and I see him making food choices based on the 'prize' that he expects to receive with the food. It's my decision to say "No, you're not eating junk food today," or "OK - you had a healthy lunch, and you've behaved so yes we can go to McDonalds as a treat," and let him have that useless piece of plastic.

My decision. My responsibility.

Yes, and let's ban more! (2, Interesting)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019344)

I also want a law banning fruit or candy additives to milkshakes (Damn you Chick-fil-a and your irresistible milkshakes that I -only- buy when I can get 'em peachy or minty).

While we're at it, why not ban making unhealthy food taste good?

Then again, we could perhaps just expect adults to act like adults and suffer the consequences of their choices. And yes, the consequence of having children is having to raise them to make good choices, even when the bad food comes with a toy. Can't handle it? Don't have kids. Don't use law to constrain someone else to make up for your lack of spine.

Double Nuggets with Idiocracy (3, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019346)

While this may work from a pure operant conditioning standpoint, but they fail to realize the problem. THE PARENTS. The kid screams and moans for McDonalds, so the give him McDonalds. The fatty foods lipids are the real addictive, so once hooked, Micky D's has got their childish love. It is the parents that are the problem. Who is the government to say that a piece of plastic in a bag can't be given away with a meal? Its the damn bad parents that allow their lardsacks children to accumulate mass that should be punished. So now when little Johnny screams for a happy meal and a toy, what are the parents going to do, "sorry johnny, but the county officials have made it illegal, no toys for you". So instead they still go get the happy meal (since there aren't any ramifications for that, yet) and then just buy the kid a damn toy elsewhere, completely sidestepping the actual problem.

And California wonders why their state is ready to self-implode. Treating the symptoms, not the problems. And really, is this a problem? If the parents choose to give their kids fast food, then its their choice! GTFOML. But there are a 1000 better things they could do with the taxpayers time to curb obesity other than just straight banning stuff. Reminds me of the salt ban [guardian.co.uk] that could be coming.

Re:Double Nuggets with Idiocracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019694)

Treating the symptoms, not the problems.

The problem is childhood obesity. Fat kids don't make toys appear in fast food meals targeted at them. Fast food meals targeted at kids using toys helps make them fat. Basically, you suck.

Liberty (3, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019350)

I really HATE the fact that people actually believe that it's OK to mandate things as long as they or their proxy's are in charge.

What (0, Redundant)

Hangingcurve (1132587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019356)

"'This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys' to sell high-calorie, unhealthful toys, said Supervisor Ken Yeager"

I don't think making low calorie toys is the way to address this particular problem.

Clarification (4, Informative)

200_success (623160) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019440)

The San Jose Mercury News [mercurynews.com] (warning: pop-under ad) has more details. The ordinance does not ban Happy Meal toys per se, but rather bans toys distributed with meals that exceed nutritional limits (485 Calories, 600 mg sodium). Furthermore, it only applies to unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County. (There are no McDonald's locations in unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.)

This seems like a good idea to me. Obviously, fast food restaurants give toys away only as a perverse incentive to attract kids. This ordinance, while largely symbolic, nullifies that marketing ploy. You want a toy? You can only get it if you forego the soda and the salt on the fries.

Re:Clarification (1)

MyFirstNameIsPaul (1552283) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019598)

And let's face it, if the parents are giving their kid everything the kid asks for, is this really going to make any difference anyway? It seems the only real effect would be to remove a competitive advantage from McDonald's.

Being a Santa Clara County resident, my second thought was that there is no Santa Clara county, per se.

BTW, the Mercury runs more javascript than I've ever seen on a single webpage. At last count, I spotted 27 URL's in NoScript.

What about adults who like happy meals? (2, Funny)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019444)

Won't someone please think of the adults?!?!?!?

Re:What about adults who like happy meals? (1)

Trarman (1607209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019714)

Absolutely true! I am currently restricting my calories, but occasionally, I can spare enough to get a happy meal. Without the toy, I might be more tempted to get a full "adult" meal. :(

It will not last long (0)

Montezumaa (1674080) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019478)

McDonald's has more money and power than that shit-hole county, so it will not last long in the courts. Aside from violating safety standards(which selling toys with food does not), no government can force a company to change its standard business practices. This county government has stepped over the line and they will be brought back in line at some point. It is not the place of government, in any capacity, to dictate how you raise your child. If you want to get them a kids meal with a toy, then that is your right.

Who gives a shit about the summary. Either way it is total shit and make no sense either way.

Anyone else think the ban was to curb garbage? (2, Interesting)

Morris Thorpe (762715) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019508)

After reading the subject, I thought the law was to cut down on plastic garbage. Too bad.

Talk about brainless consumption. Those "toys" are completely useless. If they do anything at all, they'll break after a few hours, and they exist only there to promote new consumption (movies, TV, other toys.)
I guess they keep kids entertained for the rest of the ride or meal, therefore freeing parents of the task of interaction.

Suckering in kids isn't the problem. (4, Interesting)

BlueKitties (1541613) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019530)

When I used to get my Happy Meal as a child, I was more entertained by the toy than my food. I began to have weight problems as I grew older because I saw food as an event, a fun thing, a highlight of my day, instead of something to keep me fueled. High calorie foods aren't healthy, but they don't cause fat kids. Children with normal, healthy eating habits will take two bites of their burger and then run along to play with their new toy. When parents use food as a reward ("You did good on your report card, lets order pizza!") you have a problem. When I got to my mid to later teens, most of my friends had normal eating habits -- they didn't get excited by food like me. I picked up on that, and changed my eating habits to view food as fuel, not fun. It took about three years, but I've lost over 50 pounds and have a proper build complete with muscle tone. Bottom line: unhealthy food itself isn't the problem, it's how we view food in our daily lives. If you snack to pass the time, even when you're not hungry, if you go back for seconds after your pains are gone, you have unhealthy eating habits. Eat to live, don't live to eat. It's a habit our culture in America breeds -- food for fun. Unhealthy food isn't the root cause though (even if it contributes.)

Go, you Chicken Fat, Go! (1, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019576)

Good for Santa Clara County! We need to crack down on obesity. "Fat Acceptance" is now recognized as having been a horrible public policy mistake. We have 300 pound oinkers blocking sidewalks, overloading aircraft, and running up medical costs. There's a shortage of qualified recruits for the Army. This has to stop. Fat kids used to be extremely rare. There's no excuse for being fat in your teens. Fat kids grow up to be huge adults. Anything we can do to cut down on childhood obesity is a step forward.

The Youth Fitness Song [downside.com] was distributed by the U.S. Government in the 1960s. No "fat acceptance" back then. "Nuts to the flabby guys".

Now drop and give me 20.

The Very definition of a Nanny State (2)

bdwoolman (561635) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019600)

As an unapologetic Liberal I believe that government can do good things.

But this kind of Nanny State meddling makes me as sick as I would get from eating six Happy Meals

So wait... (1)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019622)

http://news.slashdot.org/story/10/04/27/2113224/Arizona-Papers-Please-Law-May-Hit-Tech-Workers [slashdot.org] So it's bad to make illegal immigration a real crime, but we need to stop those crazy bastards from offering toys with kids meals ? The whole "Think of the kids" excuse is REALLY getting tired. Fun fact: It's almost always the parents buying the things for the kids. If adults disagree with the practice, don't buy the kids meals for your kids. Oh, but it'll be so much nicer not to have little Jimmy complain about not getting his meal/toy ? Start being a parent.

The government has NO REASON to be involved in these kinds of things.

Praise The Heroic System! (1)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 3 years ago | (#32019638)

Glorious! Simply Glorious! We all know that people can't think for themselves, but instead require the caring hand of government to guide them and ensure they engage in proper progressive action. We simply cannot allow people to think or act for themselves. This is a heroic day in the struggle against the fascist corporations and the evils of capitalism!

I live in Santa Clara... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019680)

I live in Santa Clara, CA.... I'd just like to say: We did what?!? /facepalm

Kids like toys. Parents like to get freebie toys to give to kids.

Come to think of it, adults like toys too. Ever see some of these little plastic doo-dads on peoples desks? Ever see an adult going thru the drive thru alone and ordering a kids meal plus a burger so they can have the toy for their desk at work? Ever been that adult?

The problem is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019706)

The parents aren't doing their jobs. When I was growing up there was usually the one fat kid in class. Now the national average is 25% which means in some schools it's a large percentage of the kids. Today's parents haven't the spines to stand up to their kids. When I was growing up back in the 60s, and yes there were dinosaurs back then, we looked forward to Sundays because there'd be dessert after dinner. It was a special. Today kids eat sweets all day long. We had many of the same things back then we just ate a lot less of it. Back then 2,000 calories would have been a lot of food but today some eat 5,000 or 6,000 calories a day. The military is having trouble finding recruits that aren't too overweight to train. We may be facing a future where the military rides around on those little scooters. The insanity has to stop somewhere. I want less regulation but if people aren't willing to control themselves then big brother may have to step in. Is bad food any different than smoking? Regulation reduced smoking and made it more pleasant to go to public places. Personally I dread sitting next to a human hippo on a plane. You can't claim nanny state when people refuse to do it themselves. If they really did take responsibility then the laws wouldn't be needed. Happy Meals date back to the 70s but the weight problems didn't get bad for another 10 or 20 years and only hit epidemic 30 years later. It's not actually the Happy Meal's fault it's the parents but you can't regulate parents so you have to regulate the happy meals. It's like guns. A gun never killed a person on their own but they still need regulation. A happy meal never made anyone fat but wolfing them down seven days a week does make kids fat.

Starving kids in ....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32019750)

So funny that this just happened. Colleague of mine went back to good ol' Missouri to visit his family just recently. He was just telling me this morning how he got in to an argument with his family because his very healthy (i.e. very active / normal weight) nephew was being hounded to "clean off his plate". The kid runs around, snacks throughout the day (on healthy stuff) but when it comes to breakfast/lunch/dinner his parents are on his case about eating all his food. Even though he's not hungry anymore!!! Basically they're going to turn this kid into just another obese child if they keep it up. Specially once he starts school and is required to sit in a classroom from 8-3, M-F.

I still think we need to have a test before people can become parents.
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