Have you had your break today? Well, according to last week s judicial ruling in San Francisco, it seems that McDonald s has, as will parents who want to make their own decisions about their kids food choices. Last year, the famous food chain was the target of a class-action lawsuit filed by the notorious food-nanny group, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). The lawsuit accused McDonald s of inappropriately using its signature Happy Meal toys to lure kids into its restaurants, and was seeking to ban these toy giveaways in the state of California.
Some public health officials, CSPI staff, and credulous parents lured by CSPI into becoming class-action plaintiffs alleged that such a ban would help curb rising childhood obesity rates. But according to Judge Richard Kramer s ruling last week, the reality is far different from CSPI s dream.
Refusing to take account of the judge s ruling, CSPI s executive director Michael Jacobson outrageously asserted, In time, the practice of using toys to market junk food will seem as inappropriate and anachronistic as lead paint, child labor, and asbestos."
Now I ve heard everything, says ACSH's Dr. Josh Bloom. How could Dr. Jacobson, have the unmitigated gall to compare Happy Meal toys to lead, asbestos and child labor? What dim-witted analogies are next? Oreos and smallpox? Or perhaps cheeseburgers and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius? Such analogies are laughable and merely serve to underscore his unscientific agenda.
ACSH s Jody Manley brings up another important point. McDonald s has been giving out toys since the 1950s, while obesity has only significantly increased since the 1980s. So why in the world, she asks, do people think that banning these toys will have any demonstrable impact on preventing kids from gaining weight?
And ACSH s nutrition expert, Dr. Ruth Kava, points out that blaming junk food, or its accoutrements, as CSPI loves to do, for our nation s obesity problem is an easy but simplistic and unproductive approach.