Friday, April 30, 2010

What About Personal Responsibility, or Common Sense?

I read recently that officials in Santa Clara County, California voted to ban toys and other promotions that come with high-calorie children's meals. At first glance, that might seem to be a good decision, but I find myself concerned. 

It is impossible to legislate good sense, because there are simply too any poor choices available to each of us every day.  The problem goes way beyond the enticement of a series of toys offered with french fries and a greasy hamburger. Will the legislature impose sensible bedtime laws next? 

Fast food doesn't make my list of top choices for inexpensive, healthy food for my family.  But I will admit that upon occasion, we line up at the drive through window, and once in a while, I have even allowed my kids to select from the kids' menu.

Let's face it, even at home we can make bad dietary choices.  Doughnuts, toaster pastries, sugar-laden low fiber cereals for breakfast, white bread and processed meats for lunch, fried chicken for dinner.  Will outlawing Happy Meals ensure that kids in Santa Clara County get a meal of healthy whole grains and vegetables instead? 

How much freedom are we willing to relinquish in order to protect ourselves from poor choices?



Blogger Amélie said...

Good questions. I don't know that such a law would make a real difference. I do think that our government programs support poor nutritional choices through their funding of agribusiness and food processing. There's no easy answer to this complicated issue.

Sat May 22, 10:24:00 PM PDT  

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