Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fast Food

*image courtesy Google images

Today I ran across this article on KSL.com about how fast food companies market to children. Since my husband works in the fast food industry and we can hardly get around eating fast food occasionally, I definitely have some opinions on it.

I don't understand why the media and society in general want to blame the fast food industry for the rise in obesity. I guess just by throwing food that is not so healthy out there as an option for people means those people become brainwashed and can't decide for themselves to avoid it? That children are targeted because they can physically drag their parents to the fast food places and make them buy the meals for them?

Recently, San Francisco banned Happy Meals with toys in them unless they had less than 600 calories. According to this chart, the biggest problem with most meals are the French fries, the sauces (like the caramel dip or ranch dressing or even the BBQ sauce) and the sodas. It seems like it wouldn't be very difficult to order a Happy Meal that is less than 600 calories--just get the apples and milk instead of soda and fries. But the very fact that such legislation was even passed annoys me.

I'm a parent. My children eat fast food on occasion. I'm not a huge fan of fast food and only do it in a crunch (like when traveling) or when I really can't stand the thought of cooking. But when I do, I tend to use the value menu and buy a bunch of one thing, like chicken nuggets, and then we come home and split those up between everyone and then cut up some fresh fruit and veggies to have on the side as well as some milk and that's our meal. I realize that not all parents do it, but that's the point.

It's up to the PARENTS to make of it what they will and forming a legislation to supposedly keep parents from buying fast food won't help. They will just buy the bigger regular meals instead or still buy the meal but without the toy. And personally, I like to have the option to treat my kids to a Happy Meal if I want to. It's rare that I ever do that, but on occasion, I do treat them. Sometimes we go on a mother-son date, or mother-daughter date, and that's what my kids want--a Happy Meal with a toy.

All I'm saying is that I am SO fed up with all the blaming. Almost all problems that children face these days stem from how they're being raised, not necessarily the world we live in. Yes, we have some really bad choices out there, so we teach our children the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, and then we demonstrate it by making good choices ourselves.

And I'm married to a fast food man, yet still I've managed to only eat that stuff sparingly and have healthy, normal children.

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