Thursday, November 4, 2010

Should Philly ban Happy Meals?

There's no real proposal to duplicate what San Francisco did this week; nonetheless, the Inky decides to make trouble:

"Should the Philly area try to catch up to San Francisco? Put the freeze on cheeseburgers? Deny fries to small fries?

Should Philly go further? Under the California cutoff, a Happy Meal with a plain burger, fries and a soda would be fine.

Or should little consumers get to consume whatever food they want and get Transformers, too?"

I'm not going to claim that Happy Meals are good for you, but this does smack of the kind of nanny-statism that's all too easy for conservatives to use to tar all left-of-center law-making. Besides, the problem with Happy Meals isn't that they have toys -- it's that they're cheap, an easy way for poor families to put calories into their kids without offering quite so many nutrients. But even if a Happy Meal ban is somehow justified, it's completely tone deaf as a political matter. Maybe not in San Francisco, but everywhere else. The problem is that such stories make it hard to do important progressive changes elsewhere.

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