I recently wrote an article about McDonald's Happy Meal going on a diet. I'd like to share some of the responses -- received via the "comments" section on the article page and via email -- to the piece, here:
Noles: Michelle Obama shouldn't be lecturing anyone about their diet. The government needs to keep their hands off our dining room table. If you go to mcd you are not trying to eat healthy so enough with all this bull. When I go to mcd I want a #1 supersized with a coke. The government needs to stop vilifying places because their food isn't vegan or vegetarian.
Adelard: Noles, Michelle Obama doesn't represent the Government; she is the first lady. All first ladies champion a cause and this one is hers. I don't see anything wrong with it. Now if they passed a law saying McD's had to serve fruit to kids, I'd take issue with it. The fact that McD's is doing this on their own with out mandate is good -- it shows they are following consumer trends. It's good business. As a parent it will be nice to see some veggies in the box, I don't mind the toys. I don't think the toy is causing harm. The parents say yes or no at the age the toy is an incentive.
R.Ache, Weston, Conn: No one goes to McDonald's for a healthy meal. They go for a quick, cheap, salty, fatty mouth-stuffer of a meal. Maybe if McDonald's and other fast food chains served healthy options, fewer people would be obese. Or maybe healthy food should be easier to find and less expensive to buy.
Sara, Stamford, Conn.: It is the government's business to help its citizens be healthier. If not, we all pay the price. Government isn't putting its hands on the dining room table [as commenter, Noles, suggested], but helping people make healthier choices. It's narrow thinking like that that is divisive and not helpful.
MCD, Chappaqua, NY: McDonald's is aware how they corrupt eaters of all ages. They are smarter than all of us. They are just throwing us a bone.
Donna Reid Brown, Woodridge, NY: McD's voluntarily changes their gateway branding product? I don't think they're bowing to pressure from health advocacy groups - sounds like a corporate strategy that allows them to temporarily deflect some of the legal trouble headed their way.
And from an anonymous commenter: I am very much in agreement with Noles. I find Sarah's remark, that it is the business of our government to keep us healthy, totally repulsive. I do not consider the govt to be "help me be healthier." I think Sarah is perhaps one of those that might feel real comfortable with a big invasive govt. That is one of the major issues today. I feel anybody of average intelligence is capable of researching health matters of interest to them. It is also up to a patient to have a better relationship with their primary health provider by becoming knowledgeable about their concerns.
I especially resent Sarah implying that it's narrow minded people like Noles and myself who are being divisive and problematic to our society. That is a lot of gaul. Since when does having a different view point and discussing it, or trying to have an intelligent debate about an issue make a citizen problematic?
Sarah has inspired me to campaign vigorously for 2012. We need an effective Conservative Leader who respects the privacy of US citizens. It would be just lovely to have the President's spouse follow the role model of Bess Truman. A president's wife who had better things to do than hang-out in Washington, trying to consolidate her own power base and minding everybody's business but her own.
Join me in keeping the conversation going, at email@example.com.