There's a discussion over on www.bfdblog.com about a proposed ban on Happy Meal toys in one California county:
"A child’s “Happy Meal” may soon be a little less happy in Santa Clara County, where a local official wants to prevent fast-food restaurants from giving away inexpensive toys with kids’ orders. County supervisor Ken Yeager plans to ask his colleagues today to order up a law regulating when fast-food outlets can serve toy cars, action figures and other freebies as part of their children’s’ menus. Yeager says the toys entice young customers to load up on high-calorie fare and may contribute to childhood obesity."
They're chopping down trees and not seeing the forest. The real issue here is advertising to children. Come here my pretty, and I'll give you a toy if you eat this processed food that's been designed to be highly craveable, and by the time you're an adult you'll have a habit (near addiction) formed in childhood that will be a bitch to kick. CACKLECACKLECACKLE. How many times were you swayed as a child to choose a particular cereal because of the toy surprise?
Advertising to children works:
"They are “powerful and incredibly insidious,” said Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. “The goal is to incorporate a brand into a child’s identity.”
Collect 3 proofs of purchase from Ovaltine and send them in for a decoder ring and you too can be in Orphan Annie's Detective Squad! And it's not just about getting a kid to drink your specific product. It's about teaching a kid to be a consumer, to want a thing because it's part of a set of things "COLLECT THEM ALL".
I'm rambling and ranting. But I guess my point is, hell yes, get rid of the plastic toys, but also let's stop letting advertisers tell kids (so that's it's ingrained by adulthood) that you have to have X, Y or Z to be cool and fit in, to equate stuff with self-worth. Is it apples and oranges? I don't think so. So there you have it. Happy meals caused the financial crisis.