CBS has a stupid little poll up right now (no link, deliberately), springing off San Francisco's move to ban the use of toys as a food-sales come-on. These are the two options:
Yes. Parents are responsible for feeding their children and teaching them healthy habits - not the government.
No. It's hard enough to parent without being targeted by greedy corporations. Government should reign them in.
I want to scream, just as I wanted to challenge Margery Eagan on 96.9 FM Talk in Boston this morning, when the topic came up.
Yes, of course, all web polls are stupid, devoid of meaning because they are not accurate portrayals of what people think. But it brings into relief a very important point:
Yes, it is the parents' responsibility, and governmental bans are almost certainly a very bad idea not likely to be effective. But for a multitude of reasons, parents appear not to carrying out their responsibility, and the bad effects are showing up all over the place.
Serious consequences, for individuals and for all of us collectively.
If you say you don't see them, you're blind, a liar, or both.
If you oppose government bans, fine. But take the next step: What's your plan? Just because bans are bad, the problem didn't go away!
Meanwhile, I am completely, totally down with banning toys as come-ons for sales of junk food. There really is no defense for it. The only reason the very large, very successful corporations offer toys is because they have concluded they are an inducement to sales they would not otherwise get. There is no other conceivable reason for it!
Eagan is a fool — f-o-o-l-! — when she says "They're taking the 'happy' out of the happy meal." Holy French fry! It's not a meal that is happy, or a meal that induces happiness. It's a frickin' trademark, devised to make you think a certain way that will induce sales! She's usually not that dim, though certainly, lots of people are.
Why defend corporations, instead of the loved ones who are suffering ill effects? I"m telling you, it is no fun growing up fat, and today's rampant obesity — 1 out of 3 kids is fat — is coming from McDonald's and ils ilk, as much as from any other source. No, it's not totally to blame, but does anyone doubt that if fast food didn't exist, we would be less overweight?
If you don't see that, you're blind, an incurious dupe, or both.
(Sorry, I guess I'm a tad angry this morning. That happens sometimes.)