Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Happy Meals: Is this the end?

Posted By on Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 10:45 AM

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Happy Meal toys are creating fat kids?

​This morning's big news about McDonald's Happy Meals wasn't an update on the story reported earlier this week about the British Mom who found an unsmoked cigarette in her baby's Happy Meal (after overhearing the counter girl tell a fellow employee to "leave her a fag"). No, it was the even more shocking story from California's Santa Clara County that officials had decided to ban toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children's meals. 

The toys, as anyone who has ever ordered a Happy Meal knows, are the major selling point for these carefully packaged fast food meals. And because the Happy Meals are often used as marketing tools for major movie releases, they've become lucrative commercial products.

Legendary Kansas City ad man Bob Bernstein, who invented the Happy Meal concept in 1976, weighs in on the controversy in this CBS News story.


Will other counties and cities follow suit and ban the toys from Happy Meals as a way of countering child obesity?

And what about toys in cereal boxes? When I was a youngster (back when Cap'n Crunch was a brand new cereal), my siblings and I hounded our mother to buy the sugar-loaded cereal that advertised the best toys on Saturday mornings.

My fellow Fat City resident Jonathan Bender tells me that cereal manufacturers still toss premiums into the overpriced boxes of breakfast cereal, but the toys aren't nearly as good as they used to be.

 

(Image via Flickr: Happy Meal Toy Museum)

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