Not As Much Happiness In Happy Meals Anymore

It’s been a symbolic part of our culture, and familiar name no matter where we go.  Most of us have actually grown up in the family friendly atmosphere of our local McDonald’s restaurants.

McDonald’s has been an icon of happiness and fun for many years, but the industry titan was just dealt a serious blow that could potentially change the face of nutrition all over the world.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors has made a historical decision to ban restaurants from handing out toys with meals that fail to uphold proper nutritional standards.

This decision has sparked a volatile debate between those standing for civil liberties and those standing to protect the health of the naive citizens.

Most people who are passionate about health would immediately shout out “It’s about time!”  But this decision has a careful balance that needs to be considered for this to create positive change and not lead to the weakening of our rights as individuals.

The message is clear:  McDonald’s and other fast food restaurants have played a large roll in the destruction of our health as a society.  But it’s still within the choice of the individual to decide whether or not they are going to participate in what these restaurants have to offer.

When you take away choice because YOU say it’s the right thing to do, immediately it’s going to spark violent resistance.  This is because it’s our basic human nature to fight against freedoms being taken away from us.  Though this decision is may be 100% positive for the health of our children, on the deeper levels it’s not solving the root issue, which is the true education that allows individuals to make greater decisions on their own.

If someone is still patronizing McDonald’s restaurants and feeding their kids hormone laced meat, deadly hydrogenated fat, diabetes inducing high fructose corn syrup, and pretty much no trace of anything that supports life, then obviously the parent doesn’t truly understand the danger that they are putting their family in.

Until learning actually happens, there will not be a self-directed behavior change.  And when behavior change is forced upon people, then intrinsically they will rebel.

The very clever world of marketing has definitely had it’s way with the minds and bodies of our citizens for a long time.  Maybe it is appropriate to fight back with some clever legislation, but it needs to be directed at educating the public on a wide scale.  The same “Jedi Tactics” the fast food industry has used to lure billions into the door, can  just as easily be used to awaken those same billions to much higher choices and new freedoms in choice and prosperity.

It’s definitely high time that changes are made to our food system.  Now that we’ve got people talking, let’s do it the smart way, and work together instead of starting another fight.

What do you think of this ban?  Leave your comment below and let me know.

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  • Greg
    6 Nov 2010, 7:18 am

    Shawn, again you surprise me! I read the heading of your newly posted article here and my initial reaction was, “Heck yeah! That’s awesome!” and just like you said, “It’s about time!”. Then after finishing the article, my initial reaction subsided and my mind shifted to a more rational responding type of mind set. It is wonderful to see there are people in legislation who have great intentions of changing the health and lives of our popular culture, and it is truly about time someone in a position of power stepped up with the attempt to progress and influence a healthier change, but you are correct; there needs to be tact in its pursuit. The good news is, this is starting out in California; a place where “fighting” seems to be a more dormant characteristic compared to other parts of our country. A second positive benefit I see from this change occurring in California is the fact that the population in California generally lives their day-to-day in a significantly higher active and healthier or health conscious lifestyle, compared to our midwest gluttons. Therefore, I’d hypothesize there will be a smaller resistance to this change than one might think.

    Also, you might want to think about trends. When trends spread throughout the United States, they typically start out at either the West coast, East coast, or both coasts, and then they move their way towards the center of our country. This can be seen with fashion trends, as well as with the legalization of cannabis for medicinal use. There are zero cities or states in the “bible belt” or the midwest (Colorado being the closest location to it) that have legalized medical marijuana.

    With all the above being stated, whoever thought “to ban restaurants from handing out toys with meals that fail to uphold proper nutritional standards” probably chose the path of least resistance and potentially highest success rate. Hopefully the rest of the country will gradually follow their lead by tuning into their population and asking questions about their results, and for the most naive and manipulated misinformed, hopefully they’ll simply ask, “Why?”.

    Reply
    • Shawn
      6 Nov 2010, 3:44 pm

      Fantastic assessment Greg. Looking at it from the perspective of trends is EXTREMELY relevant. Your hypothesis is right on target, and I feel that the first few dominoes have already been knocked over.

      Reply