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McDonalds Facing Lawsuit For Happy Meal Toys 145

Posted by samzenpus
from the but-I-want-an-unhappy-meal dept.
cosm writes "Looks like personal responsibility died a little bit again today. From the article: 'A watchdog group says giving away toys with Happy Meals contributes to childhood obesity, and threatens to sue. The [watchdog] organization on Tuesday served the fast food giant with a letter expressing its intent to sue if toys are not removed. The letter is legally required in several states before lawsuits can be brought under consumer protection statutes. ..."McDonald's is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children," Stephen Gardner, litigation director for the advocacy group, said in a statement. "McDonald's use of toys undercuts parental authority and exploits young children's developmental immaturity."'"

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McDonalds Facing Lawsuit For Happy Meal Toys

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  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @01:33PM (#32680418) Homepage Journal

        I second that opinion. That kid looks like he could inhale a couple supersized bigmac combos in a few seconds.

        People need to learn not to overfeed themselves and their kids. It's not the toys fault, it's the DUMB PARENTS. They're raising an entire generation of people who will be lucky to live to 30.

  • Old News (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @02:34PM (#32681430) Journal

    Didn't that guy bring this up with Supersize me like years ago? Haven't they already had to face lawsuits because "Eating McDonalds makes you fat"?

    I swear, is no one responsible for their own actions anymore? Don't get me wrong, I don't think what McDonald's does is right, but if you play the "I'm not in control of what I eat" card, you deserve to become obese.

  • by Envy Life (993972) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @02:50PM (#32681666)
    This watchdog group is implying parents need help keeping their kids away from McDonalds. Are parents incapable of saying "no honey, we're going to eat in tonight" or "no we're going to ... instead" or "no you can't have a Big Mac and fries, but you can have the grilled chicken sandwich and a fruit salad." When do lawyers become more important to our society than parental responsibility? It's just all backwards.
  • Reality check (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @03:15PM (#32682000)
    As long as you understand that McDonald's, Chuck E. Cheese, et. al are playgrounds subsidized by food sales, I don't see why anyone should have a problem with it. Just don't delude yourself that their primary aim is to provide nutrition. Sounds like some parents are incapable of saying "no" to their kids, so they want the government to do if for them!
  • by Locke2005 (849178) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @03:19PM (#32682072)
    In the words of the immortal childcare expert Bender, "Have you ever tried simply turning off the TV, sitting down with your children, and hitting them?"

    The sooner your child learns to accept "no" for an answer without whining about it, the better off they are going to be in life. In marriage, we learn to expect "no" for an answer!
  • by JWSmythe (446288) <jwsmytheNO@SPAMjwsmythe.com> on Thursday June 24, 2010 @03:24PM (#32682146) Homepage Journal

        Is it better? It costs us in the food resources that are being wasted over the lifetime of the morbidly obese, medical costs, and dedication of medical professionals to help with patients who aren't willing to help themselves. Consider the other additional problems, where ambulances have to be made larger to accommodate the oversized patients, larger tools (everything from stretchers to MRI machines), and even when they pass, oversized accommodations must be made at the cemetery.

        I went to the doctor recently, and joked that I am fat (I'm 155 lbs at 5'8"). He laughed, but pointed out that they had a new scale. The old one only went to 400 pounds. My doctor personally sent a person to a large animal hospital, because they couldn't find an MRI machine that could take anyone that size. Even if you look at the high end of a height/weight chart, someone who's 6'8", the high normal weight should be 216. We're not talking about extremely muscular athletes, we're talking about people who can't see their own shoes to tie them, because too many fat folds are in the way.

        Even someone very muscular, like Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was winning body building trophies was only 250lbs at 6'2". There's no excuse for anyone to be 350+ pounds.

        We're going to kill ourselves, and that's not just the morbidly obese. They are putting a huge demand on the food supply, which hurts everyone who wants to eat. When you hear about the morbidly obese and their diet, they eat enough in a day to feed a normal healthy person for a week (or more).

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @04:57PM (#32683494) Homepage

    If you are that fat ... You arent eating a happy meal.

    The Happy Meal is the gateway drug.

    You get hooked from the shiny toy and the burger. Next thing you know, you're hossin' down the super-sized double Big Mac combo with a side of cheeseburgers like El Gordo there.

  • Re:Old News (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Thursday June 24, 2010 @05:36PM (#32684106) Journal

    But, it's cheaper to eat McD's that actual fresh food from a grocery store -- both in terms of $$, and time.

    Definately NOT in money. At least not here in Canada.

    Spaghetti noodles: $3
    Extra Lean Hamburger meat: $5.50
    2 Cans of Tomato Paste: $3
    Stock of Celery: 89 cents
    2L juice: $1.50
    Grand Total: about 15 dollars after Tax.

    This will easily get you 5 full meals, more than any meal you can buy at McDonalds with any combo.

    There are TONS of easy meals you can spend 20 minutes cooking and have microwavable leftovers for the rest of the week. Chicken and Rice with any veggies you want is another great combo.

    Just most people would prefer going through a drive thru 5 times a week as opposed to spending 20 minutes cooking 2 nights a week. It baffles me.

  • by nopainogain (1091795) on Friday June 25, 2010 @11:11AM (#32691080)
    for my problems then who's left?!?! the kid cant drive himself to mcdonalds and the odds are the kid doesnt have his own money to load up on deep-fried-carcinogens.
  • by FuckingNickName (1362625) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @04:41AM (#32700870) Journal

    1. The brain is a biological organ like any other, able to be manipulated and programmed - "personal responsibility" is a philosophical fiction with a certain limited degree of practical application (e.g. to legal principles) but which cannot be applied to a scientific analysis of animal behaviour;

    2. Few /.ers may be in kids' advertising, but it works and it works and then it works some more - if you think there is no problem with encouraging bad behaviour "because no-one's forcing you to do it" then you ought to question your premises;

    3. In particular, if you think anyone should be able to make a buck as long as they're not putting a gun to your head, your position is one of self-interest and your opinion is motivated by creating a world full of people fucking each other over;

    4. "Parents need to acquiesce less to kids' demands" and "McDonalds should stop pounding kids with advertising to help them get fat" are not mutually exclusive. If you wonder why everyone's eating out and getting fat, perhaps you should cut through the screen of political correctness and check out how families were generally arranged 30 years ago - who isn't at home now to make the meals?

  • I don't get it... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Thraxy (1782662) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:25AM (#32701466)
    The only kids that will get fat from happy meals are the ones which are taken to McD by their parents. How does taking away the toy help? "No sweety, they don't have the meal with the toys anymore, but you can have the big McTasty instead"... Educate the parents, for f***s sake. McD only delivers because there is a demand. Get rid of the demand, problem solved.
  • by Hognoxious (631665) on Saturday June 26, 2010 @07:44AM (#32701508) Homepage Journal

    That's one way of providing work to your country.

    Another is to go round chucking bricks through windows.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday June 26, 2010 @11:01AM (#32702448)

    Spoken like a true non-parent.

    How do you explain calorie balance, saturated fats and the like to three-year old?

    A fair proportion of adults wouldn't have a clue.

  • by PFI_Optix (936301) on Monday June 28, 2010 @12:56PM (#32718156) Journal

    No, you can't have McDonald's again today.

    Why?

    Because you had it yesterday.

    Why can't I have it again?

    Because it's not good for you.

    Why?

    Because it has things in it that will make you fat.

    I wanna be anorexic when I grow up!

    -----

    My boys get their choice of restaurant foods once a week. It's usually McNuggets and apple slices from McDonald's or a grilled cheese sandwich and banana from Sonic. Our choices are limited here, so that's really all they know that they like. They've been told that having too much food from places like that is bad, but that's all they've been told. I for one am not going to create body image problems in my 3- and 5-year old sons by telling them that they'll get fat if they eat too much. I simply control what they eat so that they develop healthy appetites.

    Children do need to learn to accept that their parents understand things that are above them. I do my best to answer all the questions my kids have. They are already both considered gifted and are well above their age levels on education, but some things are beyond their comprehension and I'm not going to tell them something that might result in them completely misunderstanding my answers.

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:12PM (#32722664)

    Yes, yes. We get it. What you're really saying is, "Look at me! I have my shit together! I'm smarter and stronger, and everybody should strive to be me!"

    So, fine then. Good for you! Here's a gold sticker! You should be praised and patted on the head.

    People who rail on about personal responsibility are often the least aware people on the planet. They really, honestly, truly believe that they are indestructible, that they are immune to mind programming.

    But if I were to take you and strap you down and feed you drugged food every day hit you with sleep deprivation, your vaunted will-power would be mush within 72 hours. Within two weeks, a smart programmer could have you shaven-headed, dressed in a robe and shaking a tambourine for donations at the airport.

    The "Lone Wolf" is a myth. Everybody can be broken. You are fooling yourself if you think you are somehow special and exempt from the realities of the human psyche. As Pavlov discovered, even a strong dog can be broken if you first broke its health.

    The fact of the matter is that mind-control techniques of this nature are played out upon the populace of the world in slow form. They work and they need to be addressed and understood. The government has a vested interest in NOT helping, but that's not the point. Yes, people are stupid and they certainly need to be more aware, but you cannot condemn the ignorant for being ignorant. The fact that you are condemning them is a direct proof that the dumbing-down tactics employed are effective.

    -FL

  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @01:35PM (#32733540)

    Except...I'm not being strapped down, force fed bullshit. It's advertising, and I have the option of walking away from it. The will power argument applies here, strictly BECAUSE it's one's choice whether they pay attention or not.

    Yes, you are VERY special.

    You probably have a healthy brain, were probably fed well as a child, you probably had authority figures in your life who placed importance on critical thinking and passed those values on to you, you probably had access to books and time and space to develop a strong will and the ability to discern lies from truth.

    A great many people do NOT have those benefits.

    You are working from a state of high benefit to condemn those who are not as smart as or as gifted as you as though these areas of lack were deliberately acquired based on fully informed choices. You might as well condemn house pets for not having thumbs.

    All men were NOT created equal. If everybody was exactly the same as you, and they made poor choices, then you would have some legitimate complaint, but they were not. As such, you are blowing hot air either out of impatience or conceit.

    As such, it is NOT a straw man argument. If it were, then there wouldn't be an obesity problem in the U.S.

    The question becomes this: "Is it morally okay to trick a dog because the dog technically has the option of not being tricked?"

    -FL

  • by Jaysyn (203771) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (todhsals+nysyaj)> on Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:21PM (#32736026) Homepage Journal

    2. Few /.ers may be in kids' advertising, but it works and it works and then it works some more - if you think there is no problem with encouraging bad behaviour "because no-one's forcing you to do it" then you ought to question your premises;

    You're letting your kids watch television with ads, there is your first mistake.

  • by ThePhilips (752041) on Thursday July 01, 2010 @07:21AM (#32754986) Homepage Journal

    This level of bio-engineering should be made illegal.

    I do not think that they employ anything complicated like that. It's more like "serial manufacturing" or "mass production" (compare to "cooking").

    Occasionally when I get something from fast food, I get the feeling that their food is simply "empty". One feels full for a short time - often very short time - but the food apparently contains close to 0 of what my body actually needs. Why shortly after I feel hunger again.

    If I were in the environment where there were no other choices but fast food, I'm sure I would overeat a lot. Simply because the food isn't nutritious enough. (And well it wasn't made to be nutritious: comparing prices to the rest it is obvious that fast food is made to be cheap.)

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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