Book III: I’ll have a Supersize McBlameless to go please
Can I get a side of Abandoned Responsibility with that too please?
Originally published Aug. 7, 2007
well, i’ll take that heat. let’s dance.
Today, in papers all around the country the following article is appearing:
here’s the nut of it; in a study in which kids were given the exact same foods, one wrapped in a McD wrapper and one wrapped in a generic wrapper, the kids picked the McD food as tasting better.
first of all, the study was only conducted on low-income kids, but let’s ignore that for now.
The article and the scientist who ran the study blame McDonald’s and their marketing. the article subtly ties into the increase in childhood obesity. in another article about the study they are even less subtle:
The authors of the report said: “These results add evidence to support recommendations to regulate or ban advertising or marketing of high-calorie, low-nutrient foods and beverages, or all marketing, that is directed to young children.”
Sounds to me like McD has some damn effective marketing. almost as good as Budweiser’s (only a top-shelf marketing department could make such a bad-tasting beer the top seller in the country…).
while fast foods and sodas and sugar-coated cereals and candy all undoubtedly play a part in the fattening of america (recent study said 3/4 of the country will be obese by 2015), what happened to parents?
i doubt these 5-year-olds are driving themselves over to McDonald’s and ordering up a happy meal on their own. maybe if we didn’t plop our kids in front of the tube for 23 hours day they might be smarter and maybe not as easily susceptible to commercial influence.
and even so, just because they want something doesn’t mean you have to do it. good lord, i was a kid once (longer ago than i’d like to admit, but not so long i can’t remember it) and yeah, i’d have eaten at McDonald’s every day if i could, but parents weren’t having any of it. the same types of commercials ran then as they do now (i still watch saturday morning cartoons – ‘Johnny Test’ anyone? – so i have a pretty good idea what we are dealing with here…) but i had parents who were able to say “no, we went to McDonald’s two days ago, we are not going back today. no, i am not buying you that sugary cereal, it will rot your teeth.”
i wasn’t happy about it every time, but i recognized that was what parents did. that was why god invented them.
parenting means saying no. easier said than done, i realize, but no one said raising a decent human being would be as simple as making one.
it’s time to stop blaming marketing (despicable though it may be) and start stepping up and doing what’s right for your children instead of giving in. parenting is not about giving in to your kid’s every whim, it’s about raising them right.
which means instilling in them the idea that eating healthy is important. saying no is sometimes the best thing you can do. don’t blame the commercials (insidious though they may be) because you don’t want to take the responsibility for your own actions or children.
but what do i know, i don’t have any kids, right?