Is McDonald’s to blame for making our kids fat? Here’s your chance to weigh in (No Scale Required).
Everyone knows that fast food chain restaurants aren’t winning any awards for being nutritionally responsible. But one public interest group is taking it a step further and claiming that McDonald’s is guilty of “predatory marketing” using their Happy Meal toys to entice children to eat food that makes them fat. Huh?
It’s no secret that a large population of our country is considered overweight or obese. But whose responsibility is it to watch what we put into our mouths? Or, more importantly, our children’s mouths? In New Hampshire, 33 percent of third-graders are overweight or obese, according to a recent state Department of Health and Human Services survey. Third graders! Last time I checked, you needed to be 16 to drive through a McDonald’s take out window.
Where does the finger pointing begin…and end? Is it the parents’ fault? Is the fast food industry to blame? Should we start picketing advertising agencies for using G.I. Joe on gummie snack packaging? What about public schools lunch programs? What are your thoughts? Do you think the food industry has a heavy hand in negatively contributing to our weight and overall health?
FYI: A Happy Meal comprised of a cheeseburger, French fries, and Sprite has 640 calories, 940 milligrams of sodium, and 35 grams of sugar. Those figures are half, three-fourths, and twice the recommended daily amounts, respectively, for children aged 4-8. Over the last several years, McDonald’s introduced healthier Happy Meal options like apple slices instead of French fries and apple juice instead of soda.
My family’s solution? When we do go to McDonald’s, we dine off of the $1 Menu. I order (1) package of apple slices, (1) milk, (1) grilled chicken snack wrap and (1) Happy Meal toy for each child and everyone, including mom, feels good about it.