I found this article from ABCNews this morning and it made me furious. I have pasted the article and will add my commentary.
Monet Parham said advertising is overpowering parenting in nutrition war.
Like many mothers, Monet Parham wants to feed her daughter one thing, but the girl often wants to eat something else.
What parent hasn't had this issue? My four year old would live on chicken nuggets and fries - if we allowed her to.
It's the unhappy battle over the Happy Meal and Parham, mother of two and a health educator, said it's a fight she just can't win.
"I can tell them 'No' all day long, but then they see commercials that convince them you've really got to have this," Parham said. Her 6-year-old daughter Maya especially likes the toys that come with McDonald's Happy Meals. With a smile, the first grader says opening a Happy Meal is like "a birthday present."
So you're a health educator and you "can't win" a battle with a 6 year old? You're the problem, not McDonald's. As a matter of fact you CAN say 'No' all day long. My wife is a full-time mom and she spends quite a large portion of her day saying 'No.' It's called parenting, you should try it sometime.
So now Parham plans to join the Center for Science in the Public Interest in filing a lawsuit today against the fast food giant to force them to either offer lower-calorie meals or get rid of the enticing trinkets.
The city of San Francisco recently banned Happy Meals toys as the latest blow in what has become an increasingly decisive issue: just who is responsible for what kids eat?
"I object to the fact that McDonald's is getting into my kids' heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat," Parham said in a CSPI statement announcing the lawsuit.
I'm thinking it would be safe to say that you object to McDonald's 'getting into your kids' heads but have no issue allowing Spongebob or Miley Cyrus to do so. We've found through experience that children who aren't allowed to be parked in front of the television all day (as our are not) are less likely to be influenced by television marketing.
Some, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, said watching what kids eat is the parent's duty.
"Should it be the government or should it be the parents?" Palin said in recent speech. "It should be the parents."
But others, like Michael Jacobson of the CSPI, said it's not a fair fight.
"I wish Sarah Palin would start criticizing McDonald's and some of the other companies for these manipulative marketing tricks," Jacobson said.
I am far from being Sarah Palin's biggest fan, but I must say that I agree with the Governor's sentiment here. It is YOUR JOB! It is your responsibility to teach, guide, and mentor your children - to teach the right from wrong. I will admit that I am weary of the unlimited marketing we face today. But I am still in control. I record my favorite shows on SiriusXM Satellite radio so that I can skip the commercials. Many of the commercials are so blatently 'manipulative' that is aggravating. But if you're so weak-minded that you have your principles formed by advertisements, then you need a gut check. I rarely watch live television anymore, The advent of the DVR and websites like Hulu, I can enjoy the entertainment without the burden of marketing.
Fast food companies spent more than $520 million on advertising and toys for Kids Meals, according to a 2006 report by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Of that, $350 million went to toys alone.
"McDonald's knows that kids like toys more than they like the burgers, so they dangle these little toys in front of kids to pester their parents to take them to McDonald's," Jacobson said. "It's a trick that works. It's unfair to kids, they are being totally manipulated and it's unfair to parents who have the company going behind their back using this toy trick to get their kids to pester them."
Here I quote the late, great David Poole. "Fair is where you go to get funnel cakes." Aww, poor wittle fing can't handle when da wittle kiddies want want want, and mommy doesn't have the BACKBONE to stand up, act like an adult and say "NO!."
"Going behind your back?" Really? Someone from the McDonald's Corporation snuck up behind you, and dangled a toy in front of your kids? Where I'm from we call that a Cranial Rectal Inversion. (For the uneducated, that means your head is up your...) I think it's time you run down to Walmart and pick you up a backbone. They're on aisle 12 I think.
I'm really more concerned now for my children for the fact that they have to share oxygen with the spineless, gutless pansies that you're raising. I guess that's okay though, since my kids will be your kids' boss someday. Someone has to do the heavy lifting...well, nevermind, they won't be doing much heavy lifting without a spine.
UPDATE: Dave Ramsey comments on the story...and it is priceless. Among his comments are "She should be put in jail...because she's too stupid to be walking around."
Dave Rant McDonalds