Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Of course it's because of the toys.

Being a FA blogger who shies away from taking apart articles and studies because I don't feel I'm terribly good at it means that I tend to avoid the terror-filled shitpiles of "lifestyle" and "OMG OBESITY GET IT AWAY FROM YEW" articles on pretty much every single website in existence. But as I was perusing the Yahoo Entertainment page, I came across this gem:

California county bans fast-food toys to stem child obesity

I didn't think it was physically possible for me to roll my eyes so far back into my skull!

I just...I can't even construct a reaction to this nonsense that isn't laden with sarcasm and disdain, everyone. From the hand-wringing about that - that - FAT-PUSHING SLATTERN MCDONALD'S!!! to the mind-blowingly dopey "Well gosh, our kids are just so darn persuasive so therefore we are incapable of saying no to them when they demand McDonald's"'s sincerely appalling to me that people this incapable of critical thinking and simple logic are in positions of power.

Look, I'm not a parent nor do I have any plans or desire for becoming one, but I spend plenty of time in the company of parents who have young children (ostensibly the TARGET of the FAT-DEALING EVIL THAT IS MICKEY D'S - THE D STANDS FOR DEVIL!!!!) and let me tell you, none of them have any hesitation looking at their kids and saying "yeah, fuck no" to anything from "can we have McDonald's" to "can I get on the shed and play Superman". I would suspect a vast majority of parents are just as capable. In online brawls about the evils of fast food and whatnot, the mystical Horrible Strawparent is always conjured up - you know, the one that everyone's seen giving her infant a bottle of Coke and a fistful of cotton candy (and it's always the mother, of course, NEVER the father). Horseshit stories about pretend people doing things leads to horseshit "Childhood Obesity Epidemics" and a government program that has no qualms about othering fat kids.

I'm sure I've said it before, but of course, I'll repeat myself: it never fails to astonish me how so many people are willing to roll their eyes and treat with utter cynicism so much of what is reported by the media and handed down by the government, but the second it has ANYTHING to do with fat? Holy SHIT does the logic go bye-bye. Forget about it. Even if scienterrific geniuses of the modern age, the most brilliant scientists ever to walk the earth lined up at a press conference Mercury 7-style and each stated unequivocally that the kids are okay and that good eating and physical activity is great for everyone, not just fat kids, and that fat is not a death sentence and you know, dieting doesn't work, really, and hey, while you're at it, it's none of your fucking business what anyone else's health status is and you can't tell someone's health status by looking at them and oh, let me show you our sciences, I guarantee the average person would call it all hoo-hah. Which simply goes to show you that it's really not about health and it never has been. It isn't enough to feel as good as you can - there's no point to it if you don't have the "right" body to go with it.


NinjaEema said...

It's a completely moronic law. Don't they have better things to do over there than worry about McDonald's toys? Isn't CA going bankrupt?

I occasionally take my daughter to McD's for lunch. We almost never get a happy meal because she just doesn't eat that much, so the toys don't exactly have anything to do with what we order. Plus you can buy the stupid toy without the happy meal, so what difference does not including it make?

Anonymous said...

They had the all-knowing Meme Roth (snark strongly included) on MSNBC this morning discussing why this is such and important law. Apparently this is going to save us from our fatness.

I did write MSNBC and ask that they at the very least hire actual medical experts, but I don't expect any changes.

Lori said...

I can't see this stopping families from getting McDonald's. If anything, it's just going to encourage parents to get their children food off the regular menu, which will likely be larger portions and have more calories.

Personally, I like to get Happy Meals at McDonald's. I generally get either a cheeseburger or nuggets and small fries anyway, and I like chocolate milk, so the Happy Meal makes sense. But, I could order the burger and larger fries for a bit cheaper; my draw for the Happy Meal is the milk, but I'm sure many parents get it for the toy. Without the toy, you can get more food for less money. Parents will just order for their kids off the dollar menu or get them a regular combo, and the kids will end up eating more food.

Meowser said...

I always have to wonder, just how old are these people? When I was a kid, fast food didn't come with toys. Happy Meals weren't around until I was an adult. And everyone wasn't thin back then, believe me. I sure wasn't; I hadn't yet attained my medication-fueled ginormitude, but skinny I was not, ever. Today my kid self would have been an 85th-percentiler and my parents would have been told by my doctor to put me on a diet. When I was nine. Which would probably have made me even fatter, but never mind.

My parents wouldn't even take me to McDonald's because Roy Kroc gave money to Nixon, beat that! We went a few times a year to Burger King or Gino's (goddess, how old must I be if I remember Gino's and Wetson's). AND I AM STILL FUCKING ENORMOUS, FATTER BY FAR THAN I WAS WHEN I ATE MORE FAST FOOD THAN I DO NOW. Sorry for the capslock, but really, Santa Clara County, one of the wealthiest enclaves in the country, is overrun with fatties? Because of Happy Meal toys? Sorry, not buying it. More like some kids aren't quite as fashionably thin as expected, whatta tragedy.

And in case I haven't told you lately, which I probably haven't: You rule, Jane.

Chris Gregory said...

I'm kind of for it. Not to stop obesity, but I do think that selling toys in a restaurant encourages disordered eating. Kids want to eat there because of the toys, not because they want the food, which is exactly the sort of behaviour that intuitive eating discourages.

I don't know if you remember when cereals had toys...we used to pester parents to buy cereals just for the toys, then not eat the cereal. I miss those toys - some of them rocked - but it's a cynical way to exploit kids.