This morning's Op-Ed Column in the Examiner gave McDonald's VP of Nutrition and Menu Strategy Karen Wells an opportunity to rebuke the Board of Supervisors' proposal to ban toys in Happy Meals unless they meet strict nutrition guidelines. In her takedown, Wells (herself a mother of two) thinks the Board didn't really do their homework on this one and failed to back up their proposal with any real data, calling it "symbolic legislation." She goes on to point out the absurdity of letting the Supes babysit your children:
No scientific evidence exists to demonstrate that limiting access to toys will address or solve the stated purpose of the ordinance — decreasing childhood obesity. A hasty, ad-hoc strategy at best, it was devised without relevant knowledge regarding customers’ buying and eating habits. Who do the Supervisors believe make these decisions when our children eat at home, carry a lunch to school or sleep over at a friend’s house? Parents make those choices, not legislators.
A fair point, because despite what some might say about McDonald's advertising, we still have yet to hear of any reported cases of Grimace kidnapping children and force-feeding them french fries.
Moving on to the second window before driving the point home, Wells goes on to supersize her argument and defend the Golden Arches with some kid-related data:
...a cheeseburger Happy Meal with eight ounces of low-fat milk and apple dippers — a half-cup of sliced apples with low-fat caramel dip — has fewer calories and less fat than the iconic peanut butter and jelly sandwich with low-fat milk and an apple.
Well played, Wells. The PB&J is arguably just as iconic as a Happy Meal, and that sad brown bag lunch some of us found ourselves bringing to school never even came with a plastic figure of Johnny Depp as a pirate or whatever.
So, now that we know a 2010 Happy Meal is not the same as what Ronald (McDonald, that is) was serving up back in the 80's, can we move on from the toy issue and start hating Mickey D's for thinking they know what's best for the kids?