McDonalds’ Happy Meal: source of obesity?
McDonald’s may have no other choice but to defend itself again as a public interest group prepares to open up a new battlefront in the fight against childhood obesity.
According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), an advocacy group that often finds itself having problems with businesses, they would sue the biggest restaurant chain in the world unless it stops using toys to promote Happy Meals within 30 day period. Such notice is required under the laws of states where the CSPI might file its lawsuit. The CSPI, though, hopes to avoid a court battle and reach a settlement with the company.
Happy Meal toys in Santa Clara County, California, have been voted to be ban unless they (McDonalds) follow certain nutritional guidelines. Over the past 30 years, childhood obesity rates have tripled and some experts that McDonalds and other purveyors of cheap, calorie-rich food are to blame.
McDonalds defended that primarily advertises the four-piece Chicken McNugget Happy Meal and that they only use the finest ingredients that includes Apple Dippers, low-fat caramel dip and 1% low-fat white milk.
“When McDonald’s bombards children with advertisements or other marketing for Happy Meals with toys, many children will pester their parents to take them to McDonald’s." wrote CSPI Litigation Director Stephen Gardner in a letter to McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner and McDonald’s USA President Jan Skinner.
Arguing that its rights to promote Happy Meals are protected under the First Amendment, McDonald’s will put up a fierce fight against the CSPI.