Happy Meals may still be putting a smile on children’s faces, but perhaps not for long. Adults have stepped into the picture, and are claiming that excessive calories, along with alluring toys, are manipulating young kids. Some are even threatening to sue McDonald’s over the issue.
As indicated by “Happy Meals’ toys provoke lawsuit,” the Center for Science in the Public Interest may file a lawsuit over the toys in Happy Meals. Their rationale is that the toys “lure” young kids into McDonald’s. The CSPI even compared McDonald’s to a “stranger” who tries to give kids candy at the playground. Another problem the CSPI has is the outrageous amount of calories that the Happy Meals contain. In fact, out of the 24 combinations to choose from, all have more than “430 calories.” This is more than one-third of the “recommended daily intake for children ages 4 to 8.” Even further, some combinations have over 600 calories.
Recently, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding McDonald’s. For instance, there was the recall of the Shrek drinking glasses. According to a Los Angeles Times article, cadmium was found in the paint on the Shrek glasses. Interestingly enough, McDonald’s did not have to recall the glasses because the product was not a toy. Cadmium is a cancer-causing material.
Also, in more closely related news a few months ago, Santa Clara made a new law that made it illegal to have toys in Happy Meals. Those who spearheaded this initiative hoped to lessen childhood obesity by breaking the link between fatty foods and toys. Read more about this here.
Even with lawmakers and organizations challenging McDonald’s, the huge corporation disagrees with the CSPI. In McDonald’s faces lawsuit over Happy Meals, spokesman William Whitman says portions are appropriate for kids, and also claims that there are many “healthy choices” for kids, like milk and apple slices.
So, are the toys a trap to ensnare kids into a lifelong habit of McDonald’s? Or, is it just clean fun? There’s no doubt that companies market to kids. Yet, these are not cigarettes. Additionally, there are fast food places on every corner. Even when we go into grocery stores, there are aisles and aisles of chips, soda, sweets and processed foods. Indeed, high fat foods are hard to avoid. Yet, as for luring the kids into McDonald’s, I do not know many four year olds walking into a McDonald’s by themselves. It’s the parents or other adults driving them to the golden arches. In the end, we don’t need any more lawsuits. There are plenty of other fast food places to turn to, and it’s up to us parents and guardians to control what goes into our children’s mouths.
Happy Meals’ toys provoke lawsuit UPI.com
Sharon Bernstein McDonald’s faces lawsuit over Happy Meals Los Angeles Times
David Lazarus McDonald’s recall of ‘Shrek’ glasses raises disturbing questions Los Angeles Times