A blog hosted by Reason magazine offers a sardonic commentary on a decision in California s Santa Clara County to forbid the inclusion of toys with any restaurant meal (e.g., McDonald s Happy Meals) that has high amounts of salt, sugar, fat, or calories: First they came for Joe Camel, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a camel. ¦ So it was only a matter of time before someone applied the principle to fast food.
Toys are the new Joe Camel, since they attract kids to products that the government doesn t want them to have, says Stier. Of course, they blame this move on the high cost of health care, which is an argument you see more and more as the government takes over health care. Next they ll ban Ronald McDonald himself.
ACSH s Dr. Elizabeth Whelan adds, There used to be actual health issues with the Happy Meal toys: small parts were choking hazards for young children. The CPSC went after them, though, so that s no longer an problem. Now it s all about discouraging kids from eating so-called junk food. But targeting fast food as the cause of obesity is simplistic and distracting, and banning kids toys will have no impact on their parents buying habits anyway.