McDonald's isn't making your kid fat, but maybe you are!

McDonald's has become the whipping boy for people who are complaining about the childhood obesity epidemic.  They have been sued for making kids fat, misleading nutritional claims and most recently for including toys in their Happy Meals that make kids want to eat unhealthy food.  A California judge threw out the most recent lawsuit several days ago.

When are parents going to accept responsibility for their actions?  Are parents going to sue candy manufacturers because sugar from candy can cause children to get cavities and gain weight?  Parents seem to want to place the blame on everyone else instead of taking a look in the mirror.

Did McDonald's employees come to your house with guns and hold you at gun point while they force fed your child a Happy Meal?  Hell no!  You took your child to McDonald's, ordered his/her favorite Happy Meal, pulled out your wallet, paid the cashier and you handed your child this meal that you deem unhealthy.  You may have even watched your child eat the meal.  You, the parent of this child did all of these things on your own with only your child asking and you want to sue McDonald's!  WTF!  McDonald's should sue the plaintiffs for their legal fees for such a frivolous lawsuit.

As a parent, you have control over most, if not all of your child's food intake.  You decide how and when you spend your money.  If parents cave into their child's every whim for fast food and junk food, then they are responsible for their child being overweight. You can't blame the companies that make the food that you deem unhealthy if you make the choice to buy it.

Parents are responsible for the food that they purchase for their child.  Every time you are at the grocery store check out and you purchase a candy bar or a bag of chips, think about your responsibility.  When you order pizza instead of cooking a healthy meal, think about your responsibility.  Parents have a choice and they choose not to make it because they don't want to make their child unhappy.  Part of being a parent is making tough choices when it comes to your child's well being.  If you can't tell your child that he/she can't have an unhealthy meal, what are you going to do when real issues arise?

What would happen if certain businesses or agencies wanted to sue or punish parents for failing to properly parent their children?  Suppose the insurance companies started to pay claims related to weight issues at a lower rate if they knew that the child had an unhealthy diet?  What if our schools made parents sit in detention when their child misbehaved in school?  Suppose parents were given jail time if their child was a juvenile delinquent?  Turn around is fair play.  If parents continue to file frivolous lawsuits against businesses for things that they are responsible for, eventually someone is going to fight back.

Childhood obesity is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.  If you buy your child a Happy Meal, he/she won't be overweight due to the occasional indulgence.  There is plenty of blame and finger pointing to go around, it just needs to be pointed in the right direction.

Weakness as a parent is not a reason to sue McDonald's or any other company.


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  • Of course, parents ultimately are responsible for the well-being of their children. But you fail to take into account the enormous peer pressures that are exerted on the young via advertizing. When a fast-food company uses the public air waves to hawk its products, it has a public responsibility to offer healthy choices on its menu.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    your an idiot.

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    In reply to Sergio Robles:

    Uh, no, YOU'RE the idiot. Not YOUR the idiot.

    Remember your apostrophes Sergio? Obviously not.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    (1) Fast food companies, just like other companies, PAY to advertise, they're not getting free time on PBS.
    (2) Fast food companies, just like other companies, have a responsibility to their shareholders or owners. Towards the public? They are responsible for following all current laws.
    (3) No. N. O. it's a very simple word. You don't want your kid eating fast food? Learn it and use it.

  • In reply to teeay:

    You are 100% correct! It seems like such a simple word, yet many parents have a hard time saying it.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    sergio you beat me to it. Its up to the parent to say no. No matter how many yimes they ask. In that case lets sue the toy companies for all the ads they show on tv as well because kids nag their parents after seeing those commercials as well.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    You started off 100$ correct. It is parents who are responsible for the well-being of their children. that's it. nobody else's. Not McDonalds, not the goverment Not the school's. It's MY responsibility for the well-being of MY kids.

    So when they ask for fast food? i tell them no. they beg they get in trouble. They are healthy and happy. I make sure they eat right and get plenty of exercise.

    guess what? it's easy. Say "NO" and mean it. Back up the punishments if needed and use common sense.

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    In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Yes and yet again it boils down to lazy parenting....How many parents use the TV to babysit their kids? I know tonnes. Not to mention how many parents would sooner go to McDonalds instead of cooking for their kids as well? Again lazy/lousy parenting. You can eat healthy and still get obese. Obesity is just an example of holding someone accountable for their actions. Because we cant rely on people society or government to do that so obesity will and I'm perfectly fine with that. It's not the quality of the food that's killing people its the GOD DAMN QUANTITY of food people are shoveling in their freakin heads

  • It's up to the parent to teach their child about peer pressure with regards to advertising as well as other aspects of life. In my opinion, Disney is one of the largest companies that target it's marketing to kids and I don't exactly like them either but it's my choice to buy their products.

  • I agree, we can not blame McDonalds for the obesity in this country. Since we are talking about the 'golden arches", may I suggest a little experiment for readers? I taught a Health class for middle school students. One month before the class was to start I purchased a burger, plain. I kept the burger in the bag on the counter, with the date and receipt taped to the bag. On the first day of class, the first question was, "How many of you eat at McDonalds'", as they all raised their hands. So I reach into my bag which was now 5 weeks old and much to my own suprise, it had not changed shape, no signs of mold, it was perfect. (Cold, but perfect shape and form). The children were very grossed out! I then asked, "if this is what the burger did in a bag, what is it doing to our bodies?"
    I think as a parent today we are obligated to control what our children eats. My children ask everyday, can we go to McDonald's. I say no for the most part, but do allow every couple of months for a 'treat'. Now they order chicken wraps. :o)

  • In reply to Chef Jody:

    Chef Jody, thanks for sharing your experiment. I will definitely share it with my children. There are lots of unhealthy choices in terms of food that go well beyond McDonald's but parents need to understand that too much of anything can be bad for your health.

  • Obviously you're right that parents are responsible for the health and well-being of their children, but the real crime IMO is the alarmingly low price of junk food compared to healthier options. It should not be more expensive to buy fresh food, but it is. So when you have a family living on the breadline, with both parents (or just one parent) working two jobs and counting every penny, is it any wonder that they buy the biggest meal they can for the lowest amount?

  • Expat, I agree with you about junk food being cheap. Its really a shame that a salad at McDonald's is more expensive than a burger. However, eating out is considered a luxury and McDonald's isn't so cheap anymore.

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    Everyone seems to be making excuses for the lack of there responsibilities of tailing the time of cooking a heathy meal at home. When my children were young all fast food was considered a treat, or a reward.It is still cheaper to cook a meal at home than to eat at any fast food restaurant . Peer pressure is nothing more than another excuse for taking the easy way rather than accepting he responsibility of you raising your children instead of them raising you or you being in control instead of the children being in control.Parenting is hard ,if done right, and the the children don't love u any less and respect u a lot more if you do the right thing. So wake up and do the right thing ,if you are going to have children discipline is love if it is done right and the jails and courts would have room for the real criminals instead of the failures of lazy parents ,that aren't doing there job.

  • In reply to Douglas Burns:

    Douglas, I agree with you 100%. Too many parents want to take the easy way out when it comes to parenting. Parenting is a hard job and anyone who says that it's easy is either lying or not doing it correctly.

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