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Happy Meals. Unhappy Councilman.

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Apr• 06•11

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New York City Council Member Leroy Comrie (D-Queens) is introducing a bill to ban Happy Meals at New York McDonalds outlets. Comrie sees a conspiracy: McDonalds is giving Happy Meal toys to poor children to trick them into eating high calorie food.

“It comes as no surprise that these ads and meals are also targeted in low income and minority neighborhoods that are already at risk for childhood obesity,” Comrie tells CBS News. “These are the same communities that have limited access to supermarkets, limited access to healthy food options.”

I have a diametrically opposite take on McDonald’sI brought my daughter to a McDonalds recently to have dinner and to play on their jungle gym.  The place was immaculate, bright, and festive feeling — a perfect place for children.  We ate a small dinner and she played gleefully for an hour with the other kids. And yes, some of them were black and Hispanic.

It cost me less than $6 total.  A night out with my daughter — a night out with Dad, plus a toy — for $6.  As I was leaving, I saw a man buying vanilla  ice cream cones for his two daughters.  He appeared to be a migrant worker. I watched him take the money out of his wallet to pay for the cones and it almost made me cry.  It cost him $1.  One dollar for the blessing of buying ice cream cones for his two little girls.

McDonalds is one of my favorite places on earth.



 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Me says:

    Katie just wrote a “persuasive essay” (English assignment) on why Happy Meals should be banned! I’ll have to show her this:-)

  2. Me says:

    Her opening argument, just fyi: “Would you fall for a bribe? The toys in a Happy Meal at McDonald’s are like a bribe. Putting toys in a health-hazard meal is like rewarding the child for eating fried and sugar-infested foods. Would you want to do that?”

    Why, no, Katie, no I wouldn’t. But Uncle Billy would!

  3. Damned straight I would. But Ive go to say, I’m tired of McDonalds being picked on. It’s gotten ridiculous.

  4. Me says:

    Katie would like you to know that her essay was shown to the kids in the class above her because it was so stellar! The argument, by the way, is not anti-McDonald’s (they’ve been moving in a good direction overall); it’s simply anti-Happy Meal. Ms. Murphy and I believe that food targeted to children should be food that’s good for them. The indoor playground can–and should!–stay. And the ice cream cones are fine, too:-)

  5. Your Friend says:

    There’s nothing wrong with your sentiment here, Bill, but the fact is that the food they serve is not fit for human consumption. That they can provide something that resembles food for the prices they do is something of a miracle, I’ll grant you that. But here’s a novel idea, how about we find a way to pay poor people more so they can afford to take their kids to Cosi or Boston Market rather than have no choice but to buy the turgid crud patties served at the golden arches?

    I consider myself truly blessed to be able to afford to regularly visit a licensed nutritionist. She helps me stay focused on eating well and taking supplements that help my body deal with the irritating ravages of age. She considers this “restaurant” chain to be pedlars of poison. It’s hard to argue with her, she’s a professional after all, so I beseech you, break the habit man.

    • We go at most twice a year. And I wouldn’t recommend anyone making a daily habit of it. But I think what they are able to provide to the poorest among us is amazing. Fatness, to me, is food addiction. It’s us, not McDonalds.

      • Your Friend says:

        It’s the quantity and quality of the calories in their food that is unforgivable. Spend $6 on fruits and vegetables and run around in a nature preserve (courtesy of pregressive environmentalists) — your stomach won’t feel full, but your life will.

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