Toys with meals

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Frequent readers will know that I love the frat boys over at the "Center for Consumer Freedom," the intentionally misnomered restaurant and food-industry mouthpiece. They keep serving up testosterone-fueled, logically shaky arguments that beg for skewering.

The latest one comments on a Santa Clara County, Calif., action that prohibits restaurants from offering free-toy-come-ons with meals that don't meet certain nutritional standards.

The CCF says it makes no sense...

The purpose, said the measure’s sponsor, is to fight obesity. Get it? They’re banning toys for kids…for the children. ... In essence, this county measure is a slap in the face to parents. It accuses moms and dads of being unable to responsibly buy food for their kids.

It's the typical CCF approach: Can you believe these pointy-head do-gooders, blaming parents because their kids are fat? But aren't parents responsible, legally and morally, for the health habits of their children?

Further, haven't fast-food corporations been marketing to children for decades, using not only "free" toys but indoor playgrounds and clown spokesmen, on the cynical logic that if you can hook the kid, you can sell your crap to the whole family.

"In essence," (to borrow CCF phrasing), these corporations are pushing high-calorie, high-fat, low-nutrition crap to minors, knowing they are more vulnerable to two-bit blandishments. But rather than defend such despicable acts, the bought-and-paid-for CCF identifies the villains as the evil pols who would take toys away from kids.

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