Taking the fun out of kids’ meals

Earlier this week, a web site called Portfolio.com listed Provo as the least fun of the top 100 metro areas in the country. They should have voted for Santa Clara County, California, instead.

Officials in that area are currently considering a ban on the toys that come with kids’ meals in fast food restaurants. Their explanation is that eating such meals leads to obesity. The logic is difficult to fathom. If these officials are concerned about French fries and fatty hamburgers, why are they going after the inedible, non-caloric toy?

People in Utah Valley might not know how to have a good time, but at least they know that Happy Meal toys do not make children fat. In fact, having the toy virtually guarantees THAT THE CHILD WILL NOT CONSUME THE MEAL! Normal children would much rather play with the toy than to eat.

As any parent or grandparent should realize, the only reason for purchasing a kid’s meal with a toy is to attempt to trick a child into eating. The toy provides leverage.

Parent to squirming child: “If you eat two chicken nuggets and four fries, then you can play with the toy. But you can’t have the toy until you eat something.”

It is a little troubling to think that officials in Santa Clara County believe it is their responsibility to monitor meals. Perhaps they should also be legislating bedtimes and penalizing parents whose children don’t brush their teeth three times a day.

Will Santa Clara County deputies be charged with the enforcement of this law?

Policeman: “Sir, please step away from the Happy Meal toy or I’ll be forced to use my Taser.”

What is most frightening is that the ridiculousness of this legislation is not readily apparent to the lawmakers in Santa Clara County. It kind of makes me glad I live in boring Utah Valley.

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