San Francisco has become the first major city to impose a ban on toys in happy meals in fast food restaurants. This is a move in the right direction that should be emulated by all other cities, big or small. The city’s Board of Supervisors gave the measure final approval with an overwhelming vote of 8-3. A clear indication of the direction the city wants to take considering eradicating obesity in its population.
Let’s face it; fast foods restaurants have established themselves through taking advantage of the ever busy average American worker. They have ignored the health of its clientele just to increase their sales and expand worldwide, and for that, they have been successful. It’s a high time that all cities impose a ban on some of their marketing technique, not only to protect the children but the adults as well. This ban should go as far as scrutinizing the nature of TV. Commercials being aired in cartoon and Disney channels, and other channel purposed for children. This is a fight that we as parents should be involved, for, without our participation, the ban will be meaningless. You will agree with me that fast foods are delicious and attractive, and more so an easy way out of cooking. Think of that banana nut muffin in Dunkin Donuts, or big Mac in McDonald, yes they are appetizing, but being addicted to it is a sure way of unnecessary calories that will pile up and add to your belly ring.
Obesity has become an epidemic in the country, and more alarmingly, the case among children is on the increase. A child addicted to fast foods more often is highly to be underperforming in his academic grades, and be physically inactive. Cost of health care of such a child is usually high for they end up being easy candidates of heart attacks, high blood pressure and other chronic diseases. By banning toys in happy meals, and imposing the requirement of an alternative choice, we will surely go a long way to curb child obesity in our cities. My call is to encourage parents to insist on alternatives, and teach their children to make right choices about their foods. In addition, let’s encourage children to get physically active, by declaring a no electronic device zone – time, at least twice a day, to beat the addiction that comes with their use.