Taking The Toy out of the Happy Meal?

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 795 moms have responded )

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All of us may have heard of this,by now.

What are your thoughts?

Personally I think its ridiculous! parents Just arent parents anymore.Instead of actually Telling our children "NO" when they want to go to McDonald's For a Happy Meal cause of the toy,and putting up with the "challenges" of our children getting upset cause they want one, Parents Instead choose to turn it around on the society and media of fast food.Thats Like the obese person suing McDonalds cause there 400lbs.

Here is the link to the video:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/209695/abc-nig...

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Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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You dont need to know what the numbers mean to know that its bad for you, its fast food. And I wasnt talking about children's arteries,im talking about adults arteries in my last statement,and about how adults have their own choice in choosing their food choices and parents make their childrens choices when it comes to well everything in their children's lives...And trust me Iam fully aware of what these companies care about and thats their mighty dollar,and thats what ive been trying to explain. You are absolutley correct that ".....Fact is these big corporations are manipulating how food is grown, processed, prepared and packaged and they don’t give a shit about your kid’s arteries, they care about their bottom line and making as much mosey as possible" and this proves my point that since they dont care we MUST care as Parents when it comes to our children regarding these matters...Am I saying they shouldnt be held responsible? Yes. Because life is all about choices and we make those choices for ourselves and for our children and if a parent makes the choice to give in to their child to go to MCdonalds to get the happy meal cause of the toy in the commercial he just saw,and they throw a fit and the parent gives in, then that parent is LAZY! Instead of explaining to the child that they cant have it and putting up with the yelling and the tantrum,they opt out to turn around and blame the commercial cause its so much easier instead of actually doing your job as a parent.PERIOD.

Kylie - posted on 02/09/2011

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Parents don’t want these high fructose corn syrups, the chemical additives, refined sugar and excessive salt added to food marketed toward our children. It's unacceptable what these big food companies are allowed to feed millions of people with no accountability for it's effects. Most people don’t know what all the numbers mean and the preservative ingredient numbers are not on the packaging. Fact is these big corporations are manipulating how food is grown, processed, prepared and packaged and they don’t give a shit about your kid’s arteries, they care about their bottom line and making as much mosey as possible.
I think it’s ludicrous you can defend them and say they have no responsibility or part in the problem.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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I understand what your saying Kylie and Im aware of MCdonald's marketing ploy,but parents should get educated on these things then,doesent take much to get educated about fast food as a parent,all they have to do is just pick up a nutrition information brochure from fast food resteraunts cause by law (in California) EVERY fast food restaurant is suppose to have that handy if a customer should request it.
And I disagree with you on fast food companies should be help accountable for their part of the obesity epidemic,thats just ludacris actually. Only cause We are ADULTS and we are free to make our own decisions and if someone decides to eat Fast food everyday for the rest of their lives,thats their problem and their decision to be obese and not to mention the health risks suach asa clogged arteries,heart attacks,high blood pressure,etc.

Kylie - posted on 02/09/2011

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Ok so here’s why I believe it’s not as simple as teaching right and wrong.
Not all of the population like yourself Angela and are university educated or have studied marketing, I imagine you would be in the minority.
Maccas market their restaurants as happy, family orientated, safe, cheap places to eat with healthy options. They know that the some of basic things most parent want for their kids is for them to be happy and healthy and eat the food they are provided at dinner time.
They provide the “happy” with the bright colours, the kid’s music, the play equipment, even the highchairs are colorful and decorated with characters and of course the free toy is a big draw card. Families feel good when they walk in there. McDonald’s know its human nature that we find predictability comforting and they exploit that. You can go into any Macas store in the country and big mac will taste and smell exactly the same. Where I live the McDonald’s stores are decorated with pictures of fresh lettuce and tomatoes and photos of happy faces. They want people to believe their food is healthy and a good choice. But the food is high in calories, artificial flavors, preservative chemicals and has poor nutritional value oh and it is addictive. So it is not as simple as saying no to your kids, because parents actually think they are doing the right thing.
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Taking away the toy is one small step just like banning their TV adverting during children programs. I believe these big fast food companies need to be held accountable for their part the obesity epidemic. Children should not have to suffer because their parents are not educated and Macdonald’s wants to make profit.

Meghan - posted on 02/09/2011

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I had a huge debate in Sociology class about marketing, and this very thing. I really agree with the OP. I understand that marketing IS effective, but I just can't get on board with blaming obesity or unhealthy eating habits on ANYTHING other than laziness or a parent being uneducated. I get so tired of hearing people say it is more expensive to buy good food and it is hard on single busy parents...I am broke as a joke and going to university...I just choose to budget and make sure I have the money for fresh home made meals and I cook every nite, no matter how tired I am.
We rarely go to MCdonalds and even more rare than that is J getting his own meal. IF we do go, we share something and occasionally I will buy him the toy. I think he has asked me once for fast food and I told him no...that was that.

April - posted on 02/09/2011

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Whenever i go McDonald's to get some take out for me and my husband, i always want to bring home one of the toys for my daughter, she never asks for it ( she's two, so she doesn't understand yet LOL ), i just feel like bringing something back for her, but i just don't want to buy the meal that comes with it because my daughter wouldn't eat it in the first place and plus i don't want my daughter to get used to that type of food, but i end up not getting it because apparently you can't have the toy without the meal LOL but if in the future my daughter should ask for a happy meal just for the toy, i would say no, not to say she would never have fast food in the future, but you can control that type of demanding behavior so that they know they can't always have what they want and that good deeds are rewarded with things much better then a toy from McDonalds LOL

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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And thats awesome and I applaud you for that! alot of parents dont and that was my overall point.

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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as a marketing major, I assure you that I agree...I teach my kids about the messages they receive every day.

The unfortunate fact is I am in a gigantic minority...MOST people either do not or can not decipher the message, and their children do not deserve to die as a consequence.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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You fight the marketing machine by teaching and raising your children and actually being a parent! When you teach your children right from wrong....I feel like such a broken record.

[deleted account]

I already answered that one..... ;)



There IS a difference though. It is illegal for children to have alcohol and cigarettes. Fast food may be crap, but it's not illegal to consume.

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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So...take your pick. Do they ALL get to market to children, or none of them?

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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The fact is that LOGICALLY...if it's OK for fast food corporations...it HAS to be OK for cigarettes and alcohol. If it's not OK for cigarettes and alcohol, it CAN'T be OK for fast food.

Children are dying in record numbers of diseases they have never had before. This is the first generation NOT expected to outlive their parents. It is an epidemic, and children who are born to parents too stupid or lazy to fight the marketing machine do NOT deserve to die for their misfortune.

[deleted account]

I don't like KFC, but I have an easy solution to curbing the marketing effect.... quit watching tv. ;)

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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Couldnt of said it better myself,Jenny and Teresa,thats exactly the point im trying to get across! :))))))))))))))))))))))

Kylie - posted on 02/09/2011

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Sure! I've got an appointment now so I'll be back after lunch and elaborate:)

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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Kylie I do have an understanding how insidious marketing is I actually studied it in College...And Im not saying that we have to accept it and its not okay,but it is that simple. there's can and cannot,and We CAN teach our children right from wrong,why cant we? And if the child doesent learn,we teach them again,and again,and again,whatever it takes to Mold our children into responsible adults. If we just sit here and say the media and marketing is responsible for everything our children do then we perpetuate the cycle of our children being LAZY parents...however,I would like to hear your point of view,kylie on why its not that simple.

Stifler's - posted on 02/09/2011

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Marketing affects everyone. Who hasn't felt like KFC after an ad came on 5 times in a row at 10PM? Or some other form of takeaway or chocolate.

Kylie - posted on 02/09/2011

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Angela i dont think your understanding how insidious marketing is and that it is directed at the parents also. Just because it is the way it is, doesn't mean we have to accept it and that it is OK. It is not as simple as teaching right from wrong and parents being "lazy"

[deleted account]

Even though cigarettes and alcohol are illegal for children.... it wouldn't make a difference to ME and my family (personally speaking, not globally) if they advertised to children cuz I teach my kids that cigarettes and alcohol are poison. If I felt that McDonald's was poison.... I'd teach them that too.

Yes, I'm aware that your point is about OTHER parents not doing their job. I don't have the answer for that since forced sterilization is out of the question. ;)

Jenny - posted on 02/09/2011

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Now why is it that these parents are so lazy in such large numbers? It is apparent parents are not being stricter about the food, that's not being argued. We're going to the next step of, let's find and out why and let's fix that problem. This is but one method towards progress.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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True marketing such items like cigarettes and alcohol is illegal,but marketing junk food is not.
Yes and thats obvious that it was made illegal before the childhood deaths that have been occuring.
Yet,I stand by my point that It doesent matter what and how things are marketed,we are the parents,and we are responsible for our children,and we are to teach them right from wrong,and not blame the media for parental laziness.
Its like the child who watches A T.V show where A chrachter jumps from building to building cause he's a super hero and then the child goes and tries to do the same and hurts/kills themselves...who would be to blame?

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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I guess it's me who's not being clear...I understand your point. MY point is that marketing cigarettes and alcohol to children is ILLEGAL...and ethically there is no difference between marketing cigarettes and alcohol to children and marketing junk food to them.

In fact, I could argue that they made marketing those things to children illegal WITHOUT the epidemic of childhood deaths that are currently plaguing our society.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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I apologize Laura,I must not be explaining myself clearly. Cigarette and alcohol companies SHOULD NOT be allowed to market to children,but there going to anyway...AND ITS OUR JOB AS PARENTS TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN RIGHT FROM WRONG.WE MUST DEAL WITH THE HAND THATS BEEN DEALT TO US....And I dont think in my original post it said anything about cigarettes and alcohol,it was about McDonald's Happy meal toys being banned cause parents are lazy :)

Bonnie - posted on 02/09/2011

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I have to admit, they barely ever advertise the happy meals or the toys where I am anymore. It's all word of mouth or kids going there, seeing what toy it is this time, and wanting it.

Both my boys never ask to go because of the toys. They share fries, each have a regular hamburger and that is it.

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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So then it's MY job to make sure that my children don't smoke or drink...Cigarette and alcohol companies SHOULD be allowed to market to children, put toys around the neck of bottles of wine coolers and name them "sweet tarts".

I really don't understand the difference?

Stifler's - posted on 02/09/2011

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I agree, it's the parents liking to overindulge also and not really caring what it's doing to their lifestyle.

Jenny - posted on 02/09/2011

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The parents were brought up to love McDonald's too. It's not the kids throwing a tantrum to get McDonalds, it's the whole family going willingly together, often. If you are the family that goes in moderation it doesn't affect you. Restricting marketing does not restrict choice and does not restrict access to the food. It is one part of a broader, more aggressive effort to raise a healthier population.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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Absolutley Not laura,But what Iam saying is marketing is what it is and we can do nothing about it and thats why its OUR JOB as PARENTS to regulate that for our children,To tell them "NO", To teach them right from wrong, I mean wouldnt the world be so much easier for us Parents if every marketing ploy was Kid friendly? but its not so we must deal with it.

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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So are you saying it should be legal to market cigarettes and alcohol to children? Make signs that say wine coolers taste like candy and put pictures of cartoons, or attack a toy to the neck of the bottle?

JuLeah - posted on 02/09/2011

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I don't think anyone ought to be eating a happy meal. The toy is okay, I guess. It's plastic, and I like it better when my kid has toys made from natrual products (wood) but I don't object to the toy per say.
But, look at, really look at the chemicals in a happy meal and what they do to the human body ... you would not ever feed it to your kid again. Some folks say, "Just once in a while" but really, if you look at what is in them and how they impact a developing brain and body .... I'd not 'just once in a while" feed my child bleach or cat litter or transmission fluid

[deleted account]

My kids never ask for macdonalds for the toys. They just want the crap food. In saying that though my daughter hates the burgers from there and always asks for fry's or a wrap.



I don't think theyshoul have the toys in them. They are useless.

Angela - posted on 02/09/2011

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I dont think its about "fighting for the rights of big corporations over the rights of children..." its more about Parents not being lazy and actually being a parent. And marketing is marketing,and whether we like it or not its always going to be there whether its good or bad,thats why its OUR JOB as parents to make conscious and logical decisions for our children until they are old enough to make it themselves...Banning the toy from the happy meal is ridiculous and uncalled for,it really does say ALOT about parents,parenting skills now a days. It doesent make McDonalds look bad,it questions parents abilities to raise their children.

[deleted account]

McDonald's isn't the only place that sells toys made w/ plastic though, Kylie. If the plastic is the issue then we should ban plastic toys all over the world and anything and everything that's made of plastic. Do you own ANYTHING that is made w/ plastic?

I do get the argument against plastic. It is nasty, but I don't think the op has anything to do w/ banning the toy based on the fact that it is made of plastic......

Stifler's - posted on 02/09/2011

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It's everyone's fault. Advertising aimed towards kids who aren't old enough to discern between moderation and "GIVE IT TO ME NOW" AND parents for saying yes to avoid their kids hating them/throwing tanties in public.

Kylie - posted on 02/09/2011

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Do you LIKE the working/living conditions of the people stuck in factories are making those stupid toys? Do you LIKE that there is plastic in the stomach every seabird in the world? Do you LIKE knowing that plastic never decomposes and that it eventually just breaks down into tiny toxic particles?

* sorry off topic :/ McDonald's corporation just pisses me off big time. They are making us sick and fat and contributing to the trashing of the planet.

Becky - posted on 02/09/2011

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Well, Laura did sway me the last time we had this debate. While I still believe it is the parents' responsibility to say no and ensure their children have a healthy diet and not feed them crap all the time, the fact is, some parents just don't. Some parents aren't strong enough to stand up to the temper tantrums and begging. So, if removing the toy makes McDonalds less appealing to children and makes it easier for parents to bypass McDonalds in favor of healthier food, then they should remove the toy. Honestly, the toys are junk, and Cole doesn't even care about them, he actually likes the food. But pretty much the only time we go is when we're in Walmart over lunch, or travelling. And that is another thing they should do, take them out of the damn Walmarts! Everytime we go, my kid wants to go to McDonalds! It's much easier to say no when we're in the car or or at home and he asks then when it's 2 feet away from us and you can smell the grease!

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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no...it's about the fact that they tried to get legislation and failed (because corporations have more power than people do) and so they tried to get the reaction they wanted through other channels (namely suing McDonald's...financial incentives usually work better to stop corporations from doing something than legislative or punitive)

They are arguing the rights of the child over the rights of the corporations period.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/09/2011

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I don't care for bits of plastic crap either, but the reasoning on this bothers me. There are so many great reasons not to have toys at McDs and these people picked the one crappy one (being unable to say no to their kids). At least I'm assuming that's all it's about from the OP. Canadians can't watch hulu.

[deleted account]

I'm opposed to it. One of my best friend's even used it in his sermon a couple of weeks ago. He's against it too. ;)

We rarely eat McDonald's and when we do.... it's usually 'bulk' cheeseburgers or chicken nuggets since it's cheaper that way, but sometimes the kids DO get a Happy Meal and they LIKE those crappy little toys and I LIKE to be able to get them for them.... since it's only once every couple of months or more.

Kylie - posted on 02/09/2011

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I think they should stop including crappy, plastic, toxic toys with happy meals. They are pointless and all eventually end up in landfill. It's wrong to use toys to market food to children. No one should be supporting plastic crap that ends up in our oceans and then in the fish and sea animals. Especially when that plastic crap is being used to manipulate parents and their kids.

Jenny - posted on 02/09/2011

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I support banning marketing to all children across the board. If you aren't old enough to get a job to pay for thier goods, they have no right to coerce children into begging thier parents to buy it for them. Marketing IS brainwashing, it's the actual definition (look it up).

Isobel - posted on 02/09/2011

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giving children a toy when they eat crappy food activates the reward center of their brain which changes their reaction to that product for the rest of their life.



If you as a parent, wish to feed your kid McDonald's (or any other fast food) and then give them a piece of junk that's going to fall apart in a week, that is entirely your right.



It is NOT, however, McDonald's right to brainwash children so that children who are unlucky enough to be born to parents who are either too stupid or lazy to understand marketing (which almost all of us are by the way, it is a very sophisticated science) have CHILDREN WHO ARE DYING of heart disease and complications due to Type Two Diabetes.



Marketing to the the most vulnerable group in our society, who is, by definition unable to understand or question the message is an UNETHICAL business practice...to all those of you who fight for the rights of the big corporations over the rights of children in ANY instance...just wow.

Lady Heather - posted on 02/09/2011

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These parents must go totally broke during a trip to the mall.

Krissy - posted on 02/09/2011

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I agree. My kids never throw fits at mcd's... (3, 6, 9)... over happy meals. There are times they ask, but they know we are poor... LOL! When my older two were smaller, they shared a small fry, a $1.00 sandwich and each had water.... EVERY time we went. They didn't complain. Even when they got old enough for that to not be enough for them... we would have a banana in the car before going... mcd's was more about playing there than anything.

I can't stand the whole 'non-parenting' technique of some parents.

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