Santa Clara County ban on fast food toys? State, National, International, posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 10:43 pm
What are your thoughts? Personally, I think this is a clear example of government over extending its authority into the marketplace. However, part of me recognizes the need for something to be done about childhood obesity and if parents are not going to make the tough decisions maybe the county is correct in taking steps - I think the real question is whether this is the correct step.
My biggest concern is with the logic that the toys drive children's decisions on what they want to eat. The underlying issue I have is that parents should drive the decision on what their children's options are - not the other way around.
I also find the decision riddled with hypocrisy as many of the jr high and high schools serve food that typically comes from a fryer. It seems to me if the county really wanted to make an impact banning fryers in public schools would be a more appropriate and effective step in achieving their goal.
Posted by letsgo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 27, 2010 at 11:08 pm
You make some very good points - as a parent I know that the toys do drive kids to want to go to the restaurant - my kids have said "we want to go to McDonald's to get the toy, but we don't want the food".
Its up to the parent to make those boundaries...parents can say NO to their children. Even if the parents work late every night, you can still say no to your children and not feel guilty.
Addressing the topic of this discussion though, its up to the parents, not some local representative that thinks they know what's best for my family because they can't get a real job. Elected officials are to protect us from outside evils, not try to teach us whatever they think is morally correct.
Yes, the toys increase the children's desire for the food...and yes, the parents can still say no, you may not have that food/toy.
Posted by they can but they won't, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2010 at 6:04 am
Yes, the parents can say no and yes, the parents should say no. But they will not. Pleasanton is filled with entitled and overindulged kids. What are the parents doing? Oh, playing golf or getting their nails done. What are the kids doing? Whatever they want, paid for by mommie and daddie.
Posted by Karen, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2010 at 9:00 am
personally I love the idea. When I take my kids to a restaurant, the food choice for kids meals almost always includes french fries. My kids will eat veggies and salad, but I always have to ask for a "favor" and often pay more.
Posted by NO!!!!, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 28, 2010 at 9:39 pm
I don't agree with this, and it is actually kind of scary.
Come on, what is next? Make red meat illegal? Force people to take yoga classes? Tell all chinese restaurants that using MSG is no longer allowed?
What are they trying to accomplish with the lack of a toy in a kids' meal?
Fat people will continue to eat at McDonalds and their kids will go with them, whether there is a toy or not.
I do not like this kind of regulation. People should be the ones responsible for making the decision to eat wherever they want, and restaurants like McDonalds should be able to offer toys or whatever they want. It is all about personal choices, and the government should stay out of it. I also did not like when Michelle Obama tried to be cool and push organic, etc, and talk about how to prevent childhood obesity - perhaps she should look in the mirror? Lose a few pounds before she tries to make others be slim? And she had Oprah as her partner? This would be something to laugh at if it were not so scary to think what is next?
Posted by Jose, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 6:39 am
The studies are everywhere showing that obesity - both in kids and in adults - is a major problem for this country. It costs us billions in health care and reduced productivity. It is one of the primary reasons that our childrens' generation may not live as long as our generation.
Having said that, regulation by the government is not the solution. If people are too lazy or too stupid to take the responsibility of managing their weight, that's their problem and they'll pay the price.
Just don't make the rest of us pay for their lack of self control. When they get diabetes or heart disease, don't make us pay for their healthcare. If they need a scooter because they're too huge to move around on their own, don't make everyone else pay for their disability. When they're too tired to hold a job, don't make the rest of us pay for their unemployment.
Posted by Malcolm, a resident of the Bridle Creek neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 6:48 am
Don't you people realize this is just the next logical step in America's decline? When a society has so much of everything that people want for nothing, it is only logical that they will consume in excess simply because they can.
The smart thing to do is get ahead of the trend: I think the old Domus store would be an excellent location to open a Vomitorium.
Posted by To Joe, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 7:19 am
I agree with you Joe that we should not have to subsidize others' healthcare, but that goes for everything not just obesity. Many people have kids with severe disabilities and get subsidies from the government not just for healthcare but for daycare/school and other stuff. These kids will never be productive adults and will be on the government's "payroll" for life - which is prolonged these days because of advances in medicine.
We have elderly neighbors well into their 80s who are living off retirement (pensions) and look as healthy as an 80 year old can look, yet they have other health related issues (old age issues) that we are paying for because they are on medicare and have been on it for more than a decade.
So obesity is a problem, but so is government's lack of good planning. The government should not interfere with people's choices.
Look, Obama smokes, and one day he will be living off our money (even though he has made millions with his book) because at a young age he became president. Now we will have to give him about 200K per year once he is no longer the president, plus subsidized healthcare and secret service for him and his family. And if he gets any of the lung diseases due to smoking (pulmonary fibrosis, cancer, etc), well, then we will be paying lots of money for his care - just because he was president for four years (yes, I expect he will not be re-elected)
The government needs to stop subsidies, period.
If fat people want to be fit, they should make the choice to stop eating at McDonalds, the government should not interfere.
What is next? Require people to go to the gym? And whose idea of healthy will we follow? Anorexia is a problem too, you know.
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Apr 29, 2010 at 8:17 am
No one who supported Obama's health care reform should speak a word of complaint over this development. It is the natural logical progression from government involvement in your health-care decisions.
Next, your SUV is too big, and it pollutes and it can kill people when you crash it in to a Prius, so you cannot have one of those either. Why not? If they can take toys away from kids, they can take toys away from adults. After all, it's only for your own health and safety!
Posted by Does anyone know if thhey can?, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 8:55 am
"If they can take toys away from kids, they can take toys away from adults."
And that is just too scary. The government is out of control, and I wonder if a county can indeed tell a fast food place how to run its business?
Posted by Jon, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 9:43 am
I think they should just impose better guidelines on Fast Food to make it a healthier option. I think the point is missed. The toy is not the problem the food is. Change the food not the toy. Subway is a better option and they have a kids meal that has a toy. Will they be allowed to offer the toy? Seems like that could get very messy. I understand the need to bring our kids into a more healthy diet but I am not sure this is the way to do it.
P.S. "They can but they won't" You are the worst. You are the problem with these blogs. I will put my parenting skills against yours any day. And I don't play golf.
Posted by maja7, a resident of the Vintage Hills Elementary School neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 11:50 am
I am a Mother of 4 children. I can and do say "NO" to my kids, ranging from high school to elementary school. Talking to my kids about 'good for you foods' and 'treats' is a necessary part of parenting in this age of packaged foods/fast foods. It's a process that takes more than one conversation and consistency on part of the parent.We,as a family, no longer go to McDonald's, that was a conscious choice on our part.
I am personally offended and scared of this Big Government action. What's next? The cities loved when McDonald's came to their town and brought the tax revenue though, didn't they?
I think that a great number of parents, thesedays, are stressed out by hectic work & social schedules,maintaining their public facade and pleasing their children. My job as a Mom is to raise good, respectable people who will be a positive influence on their small corner of the world. And sometimes, that means we,as parents, say "NO" and set boundaries for our children.
Is anyone with me? Parent is a verb not a noun.It takes work.
"People ask why I want to take toys out of the hands of children," said Yeager, who is president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors. "But we now know that 70% of the kids that are overweight or obese will be overweight or obese as adults. Why would we want to burden anybody with a lifetime of chronic illness?"
"We're responsible for paying for healthcare in the whole county," Yeager said. "We pay close to $2 billion annually on healthcare, and the costs have done nothing but rise." A big part of the increase, he said, is costs related to obesity.
Posted by Jason, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 12:24 pm
I think it's pathetic how people are voting these left-wing loons into office that want to control as many aspects or our lives as they can. The freedoms we cherish so dearly, obtained at the cost of many hundreds of thousands of lives and untold resources, are just being pi**ed away by creaping socialism and totalitarianism. In the last year the creaping has turned into a fast gallop. It is truly pathetic. Our ancestors would be appalled.
Posted by Kell, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 2:20 pm
"Our ancestors would be appalled"
LOL!!! I forgot that our founding fathers fought the revolution so conservative rednecks could get happy meals.
I love all you Tea Party conservative nutjobs whining about not getting a toy. Are you guys 8 years old? You conservatives didnít care that millions donít have health care but you are outrage by not getting toys at a fast food joint in Santa Clara County. Welcome to the American idiocracy!
Posted by letsgo, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 9:21 pm
So Kell, you are saying that you feel that the government should be able to control every aspect and minute detail of our lives. Would you be happy if the government mandated a specific menu for you to eat everyday of your life? If that the kind of control you want. What if the government decided the romaine lettuce was the only lettuce allowed to be sold because someone told them its the healthiest...is that ok?
The point all of these people are making is not about a stupid little toy, its about the stupid officials trying to make laws to fix a problem that does nothing to actual help the problem but yet chips ever so slightly away some of our freedoms.
Posted by Ann, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 29, 2010 at 10:17 pm
Wow! Fast food toys really bring out all the right-wingers comments. Talk about over-the-top rhetoric about "big, scary government takin' my toys"! As if a stupid toy ban in one California county is a some kind of ominous sign of Obama coming after fast food loving suburbanites. You guys need to live in reality, not the Glenn Beck fear factory.
Posted by choice, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2010 at 8:56 am
"Wow! Fast food toys really bring out all the right-wingers comments. Talk about over-the-top rhetoric about "big, scary government takin' my toys"! As if a stupid toy ban in one California county is a some kind of ominous sign of Obama coming after fast food loving suburbanites. You guys need to live in reality, not the Glenn Beck fear factory."
I think the part you're missing Ann, is that most adults resent being treated as a child. It's not a political thing.
Posted by jimf01, a resident of another community, on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:06 am
trust me - "Ann" got that, the name calling, insults and false smears are the normal response, every time the progressives on this blog hear something they have no response to. They hate it when the "right" is right.
Posted by Pleasanton Parent, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Apr 30, 2010 at 9:42 am
Lets reign this back on topic and let the left wing / right wing discussion evolve elsewhere.
To answer some of the questions:
- The legislation bans fast food chains with handing out toys as part of high calorie meals, what defines a high calorie meal I have not yet read. So regarding subway handing out toys with meals, probably no problem.
- Regarding whether or not Santa Clara County can regulate and enforce this, yes they can. San Luis Obispo has had a ban on drive-thru's for over a decade. They used air quality as the driving force (cars idling on while waiting cause pollution).
- The issue isn't about a toy, the issue is about how governments (especially local county governmennts) are electing to address a growing problem.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 1, 2010 at 1:27 am
I feel about this the same way I do about the government's involvement with issues regarding sodas, salt and other things. They have no business telling us what we can and cannot eat. Their only involvement should be through what the FDA current does. It's unacceptable for them to be extending their reach into our private lives to this extent. If we want to eat at a fast food restaurant to get a toy, then fine. If we want to eat salty foods, that should be our choice, not the government's decision. If we want to have a soda, we shouldn't have to pay a proposed "soda" or "obesity" tax just because some subset of the population has trouble controlling their eating habits.
If the government wants to get involved then they should do it through education of some sort, not making decisions like this for the entire population.
Posted by Qwerty, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on May 3, 2010 at 2:30 pm
One of the problems I see with a lot of the government's programs is that they assume we're all stupid and can't think for ourselves. Kind of like how microsoft assumes all computer users are idiots and needs to be offered "help" every 5 sec. by an animated paper-clip character when we are trying to use word or powerpoint.