The Guy From CSPI Isn’t Toying With McDonald’s

The Guy From CSPI is at it again. Take a look. (Sorry, you’ll have sit through a commercial first.)

As an online article about the lawsuit explains, CSPI is now apparently blaming Happy Meals for most of the nation’s health issues:

The nutrition group claims that using toys to entice children instills bad eating habits and puts kids at higher risk of risk of developing obesity, diabetes, or other diet-related diseases over the course of their lifetime.

Yeah, right. I visited my daughter’s school a few months ago to join her for lunch. She brought lunch from home:  lunchmeat, cheese, nuts and olives. The kids eating the government-approved school lunch were busy snarfing on

  • Four chicken nuggets
  • Peaches in syrup
  • A big scoop of mashed potatoes
  • A dinner roll
  • A box of juice

Anyone want to try to explain to me how that’s a nutritious meal, while a Happy Meal instills bad eating habits?

The CBS “unscientific experiment” was just plain silly, by the way.  Offer me a Guinness, or a Guinness with a 20-dollar bill attached, and you can pretty much guess which one I’d prefer.  It tells us nothing about how Happy Meal toys affect our food choices when we grow up.

I agree with Jacobson on one thing: five-year-olds don’t always understand that the point of advertising is to sell products. That’s why I rarely allow my five-year-old to borrow my wallet and car keys and go shopping by herself. But to hear the fruitcakes at CSPI tell it, you’d think McDonald’s has found some sneaky way of removing parents from the equation:

“McDonald’s is the stranger in the playground handing out candy to children,” CSPI’s litigation director, Stephen Gardner, said in a prepared statement. “It’s a creepy and predatory practice that warrants an injunction.”

I think it speaks volumes when an organization identifies its own spokesman as the “litigation director” without wondering if perhaps that makes them sound like lawsuit-happy scumbugs. But that aside, the scenario the lawsuit-happy scumbag paints is ridiculous. If McDonald’s is the creepy guy handing out candy, then in the real world, his encounters with children would go something like this:

“Hello, little boy. Want some candy?”
“Uh … Dad, can I have some of the creepy guy’s candy?”
“How much is the candy, creepy guy?”
“It’s free!”
“I see. So what exactly do you want in exchange?”
“Well, uh … I thought maybe I’d invite your son to take a ride in my car afterwards.”
“Wow! Dad, can I go ride in the creepy guy’s car?”
“No, son. Now if you’ll step aside, I need to punch the creepy guy in the nose.”

McDonald’s can’t sell anything to little kids. They can only sell to the parents. So it’s not really the creepy guy with the candy that CSPI doesn’t trust … it’s the dad. Or the mom. This statement says it all:

CSPI director Michael Jacobson acknowledged that parents bear much of the responsibility for children’s eating habit — a criticism industry defenders often levy. “But multi-billion-dollar corporations make parents’ job nearly impossible by giving away toys and bombarding kids with slick advertising,” he said.

How does “bombarding” my kids with advertising make my job as a parent impossible? Sure, advertising has made my kids aware of Happy Meals toys. That’s why we sometimes have conversations like this:

“Daddy, can we go to McDonald’s?”
“No.”
“Puh-leeeeeeeease!”
“No.”

Or, if we’re at McDonald’s …

“Can we get the Happy Meal?”
“No. Mom said to get six McDoubles to go, and that’s what we’re getting.”
“But I want that toy!”
“No. It’s not worth the extra money.”
“But I really, really, really want that toy!”
“No.”

Trust me, it’s not that hard to say no. I do it all the time. If there are parents in the world who are powerless to say no when their kids whine, those kids are going to have far worse problems in life than bad eating habits. Besides, when they end up in prison, they’ll be fed according to the government’s nutrition guidelines — which The Guy From CSPI likes — so it all balances out.

Sometimes we say yes to the Happy Meals, of course. It’s our choice. We know exactly what we’re doing.  But The Guy From CSPI believes it’s because we’re stupid.  Or, to use the consumers-as-victims theory he prefers, we’ve been duped by “misleading and deceptive advertising.” I guess I’ll have track him down someday and ask for his definition of “deceptive.” I’ve seen the ads, and as far as I can tell, the message is:  Hey, folks, if you buy a Happy Meal, you’ll get

  • This fun little toy
  • A burger or small order of McNuggets
  • Apple slices or a small order of fries
  • A milk jug or a juice box

And wouldn’t you know it, when I take the girls to McDonald’s for a couple of Happy Meals, they end up with

  • The fun little toy
  • A burger or small order of McNuggets
  • Apple slices or a small order of fries
  • A milk jug or a juice box

If there’s deception going on here, it’s so deeply deceptive, I can’t even spot it. If I opened the Happy Meal box and found a tofu-spinach pie inside, then I’d feel deceived.

If anyone should be sued for deception, it’s The Guy From CSPI. He’s the one who insisted in his newsletters twenty years ago that hydrogenated oils were perfectly safe, then harassed the restaurants into using them for frying. It’s his organization that harassed schools into serving fat-free milk instead of whole milk — which provides growing brains the saturated fats they need. It’s CSPI that tells parents to give their kids cereal for breakfast instead of eggs.

There is a creepy guy lurking on the playground … but it’s The Guy From CSPI.

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100 thoughts on “The Guy From CSPI Isn’t Toying With McDonald’s

  1. Andrew

    Went to McDonalds today to get a Big Mac in honor of CSPI guy. Came home, no burger in my burger. CSPI guy strikes again!

    That happened to me once when I said “no bun” at a drive up. Quite a miscommunication.

    Reply
  2. Gwen

    I toyed with a pic of CSPI guy from the video, but it’s just too grainy. I was going to see if I could find a place for you to use, but there’s just too many goofball sites out there. I used to have a good place that did dye sublimation printing, but it wouldn’t work well for this application, and it wouldn’t be any cheaper, just better quality.

    I’m getting some good suggestions.

    Reply
  3. tony-k

    I can’t believe these guys. The only reason idiots like CSPI and Meme Roth make it on the news so much is because they’re sensationalsits, plain and simple. They make a lot of noise and they make for good news. BTW, since you feature McDonalds so prominently in “fathead” and not in a negative way either, any chance you might strike a deal to get your movie placed in the Redbox machines around the country for rental? It would be a great way to get the film seen, folks can pick it up for a buck along with their dolar menu goodies!

    They make for good copy or good sound-bites, indeed.

    Reply
  4. Elle

    Ads have targeted children since my parents were kids (50 years ago). When television first started airing shows aimed at kids, advertisers realized that they could advertise their wares directly to kids. This is also about when advertisement left the “Nine out of ten doctors recommend Lucky Strikes” scientific model to “Hey this is super-awesome and you want it because it’ll make you super-awesome!”

    It took 50 years for people to realize that parents have zero control over the purchases that com into the house [/sarcasm]

    Reply
  5. Todd

    It’s kind of funny, in a sad clown way, that many vegans do get that creepy look after they’ve been wasting away for a few years. The long-term vegetarians and especially vegans I know do tend to have sunken, dark eyes, sallow skin, and a hunched over, skeletal appearance. It’s difficult for me to take health advice from someone who does not appear healthy themselves.

    Michael Jacobson certainly isn’t going to persuade people with a “Be Like Mike” campaign. He looks like Ichabod Crane.

    Reply
  6. John Hunter

    Sounds like school lunch to me is

    * A little bit of protein coated in starch
    * Sugar lumps in sugar sauce
    * A big pile of starch
    * A little more sugar syrup to wash everything down with
    * And a hardened ball of starch that probably comes with some little lump that most likely started out as corn, then, through chemical magic, is turned it into something that is supposed to resemble butter, but is probably more closely related to and nearly as healthy as plastic.

    SETTLE DOWN CLASS!!!! I just don’t know why they are bouncing off the walls. They can’t concentrate and they are all complaining about being hungry thought they just ate 45 minutes ago.

    And then pass out the ADD prescriptions.

    Reply
  7. Carol Bardelli

    They can market to my kid all they want. I named him Bruno so I can say “NO” to him every time I call his name. Kidding aside, we haven’t gone to McDonald’s in a couple of years, mostly because they started putting high fructose corn syrup in nearly everything. And even when we did, our kid never finished a meal. How’s he going to get fat eating half and spending most the time on their playground?

    Same for my girls. I don’t care what the calorie count is for a Happy Meal, because I’ve never seen them finish one.

    Reply
  8. Todd

    That’s one thing that stikes me about kids. They say what they think…including “I’m full.” And once they’ve declared that, try convincing them to have more! Adults somehow have lost that natural limit on overeating – probably because we know how much it costs.

    It would be a good thing if restaurants offered meals in various serving sizes, instead of one-size-fits-all.

    Too many adults overproduce insulin, which tells them they’re still hungry.

    Reply
  9. Andrew

    Went to McDonalds today to get a Big Mac in honor of CSPI guy. Came home, no burger in my burger. CSPI guy strikes again!

    That happened to me once when I said “no bun” at a drive up. Quite a miscommunication.

    Reply
  10. Howard

    I’m scratching my head here. Marketing to children is evil and possibly illegal? I’m 54 and I remember watching cartoons and kiddie shows and every commercial, be it for toys or candy, was marketed directly toward children. And it’s amazing how easy it was for my parents to say no. In fact, they said no so often that after a while we pretty much assumed the commercials were only for entertainment value, since we knew we would never get to have any of that stuff.

    Believe it or not, some couple a few years ago — both educated professionals — sued to stop ads directed at children because having to say no all the time was placing an undue burden on them.

    Talk about a society of spineless weanies …

    Reply
  11. Todd

    It’s kind of funny, in a sad clown way, that many vegans do get that creepy look after they’ve been wasting away for a few years. The long-term vegetarians and especially vegans I know do tend to have sunken, dark eyes, sallow skin, and a hunched over, skeletal appearance. It’s difficult for me to take health advice from someone who does not appear healthy themselves.

    Michael Jacobson certainly isn’t going to persuade people with a “Be Like Mike” campaign. He looks like Ichabod Crane.

    Reply
  12. Melissa

    Well if I gave my son a bag of beans with dora on them and told him they were magic, he’d put them in his mouth, determine weather he likes them, then spit them out.
    It wouldn’t matter who I put on there. He either likes them or he doesn’t.

    So if they’re suggesting that McDonalds do the same with “magic beans” I think most kids are smart enough to know that they’re not magic, especially if they taste bad.

    Oh this is totally unrelated but I thought you might like to check out this article about Gwenyth Paltrow (micrbiotic diet lover) having bone disease at 37
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1289644/Gwyneth-Paltrow-Im-suffering-brittle-bone-disease.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Exactly right. I’ll take the Guinness with the $20 attached, but that same $20 will never make a Coors Light take like actual beer.

    Reply
  13. Carol Bardelli

    They can market to my kid all they want. I named him Bruno so I can say “NO” to him every time I call his name. Kidding aside, we haven’t gone to McDonald’s in a couple of years, mostly because they started putting high fructose corn syrup in nearly everything. And even when we did, our kid never finished a meal. How’s he going to get fat eating half and spending most the time on their playground?

    Same for my girls. I don’t care what the calorie count is for a Happy Meal, because I’ve never seen them finish one.

    Reply
  14. Todd

    That’s one thing that stikes me about kids. They say what they think…including “I’m full.” And once they’ve declared that, try convincing them to have more! Adults somehow have lost that natural limit on overeating – probably because we know how much it costs.

    It would be a good thing if restaurants offered meals in various serving sizes, instead of one-size-fits-all.

    Too many adults overproduce insulin, which tells them they’re still hungry.

    Reply
  15. Howard

    I’m scratching my head here. Marketing to children is evil and possibly illegal? I’m 54 and I remember watching cartoons and kiddie shows and every commercial, be it for toys or candy, was marketed directly toward children. And it’s amazing how easy it was for my parents to say no. In fact, they said no so often that after a while we pretty much assumed the commercials were only for entertainment value, since we knew we would never get to have any of that stuff.

    Believe it or not, some couple a few years ago — both educated professionals — sued to stop ads directed at children because having to say no all the time was placing an undue burden on them.

    Talk about a society of spineless weanies …

    Reply
  16. TonyNZ

    “The kids eating the government-approved school lunch were busy snarfing on

    ◦Four chicken nuggets…”

    If you asked me what contains 4 chicken nuggets and a few fillers I would immediately think happy meal. How is the happy meal worse?

    Anyway, I remember getting wee rugby balls and soccer balls and the like with happy meals when younger. We’d have gone to McDonalds once every one or two months but the exercise we had chasing those balls around (they were plush, so not subject to the same “balls inside” rules as proper balls) would have been easily equal to 20 times the calorie content of the meal.

    I wonder whether there would be a public outrage if Miley Cyrus or Justin Beiber ever got a McDonalds endorsement. I remember there was a bit of a furore when McDees in New Zealand got two of our Olympic gold medalists as spokespeople in an ad campaign that was all about balancing food choices with healthy lifestyles. The nerve of those people.

    There are people here whose hatred of McDonald’s defies logic. It’s pure emotion. Partly it’s because they kill cows, and partly it’s because they make billions of dollars, which is all it takes to inspire hatred from some elements in America.

    Reply
  17. Melissa

    Well if I gave my son a bag of beans with dora on them and told him they were magic, he’d put them in his mouth, determine weather he likes them, then spit them out.
    It wouldn’t matter who I put on there. He either likes them or he doesn’t.

    So if they’re suggesting that McDonalds do the same with “magic beans” I think most kids are smart enough to know that they’re not magic, especially if they taste bad.

    Oh this is totally unrelated but I thought you might like to check out this article about Gwenyth Paltrow (micrbiotic diet lover) having bone disease at 37
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1289644/Gwyneth-Paltrow-Im-suffering-brittle-bone-disease.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

    Exactly right. I’ll take the Guinness with the $20 attached, but that same $20 will never make a Coors Light take like actual beer.

    Reply
  18. TonyNZ

    “The kids eating the government-approved school lunch were busy snarfing on

    ◦Four chicken nuggets…”

    If you asked me what contains 4 chicken nuggets and a few fillers I would immediately think happy meal. How is the happy meal worse?

    Anyway, I remember getting wee rugby balls and soccer balls and the like with happy meals when younger. We’d have gone to McDonalds once every one or two months but the exercise we had chasing those balls around (they were plush, so not subject to the same “balls inside” rules as proper balls) would have been easily equal to 20 times the calorie content of the meal.

    I wonder whether there would be a public outrage if Miley Cyrus or Justin Beiber ever got a McDonalds endorsement. I remember there was a bit of a furore when McDees in New Zealand got two of our Olympic gold medalists as spokespeople in an ad campaign that was all about balancing food choices with healthy lifestyles. The nerve of those people.

    There are people here whose hatred of McDonald’s defies logic. It’s pure emotion. Partly it’s because they kill cows, and partly it’s because they make billions of dollars, which is all it takes to inspire hatred from some elements in America.

    Reply
  19. Lori

    Todd said, “It would be a good thing if restaurants offered meals in various serving sizes, instead of one-size-fits-all.”

    When you place an order for a meal you know is going to be too big, you can ask your server to box up half of it to go. You can also split a meal with a companion, or order an appetizer or the ubiquitous grilled chicken salad.

    Reply
  20. Lori

    Todd said, “It would be a good thing if restaurants offered meals in various serving sizes, instead of one-size-fits-all.”

    When you place an order for a meal you know is going to be too big, you can ask your server to box up half of it to go. You can also split a meal with a companion, or order an appetizer or the ubiquitous grilled chicken salad.

    Reply
  21. Dave, RN

    “The long-term vegetarians and especially vegans I know do tend to have sunken, dark eyes, sallow skin, and a hunched over, skeletal appearance”.

    I noticed a celebrity that has taken on that appearance. When I read your post I Googled her. Yup. Ellen Degeneres turned vegan.

    Noticed when watching idol. She looks terrible.

    Too bad. By virtue of being a celebrity, she’ll inspire others to do the same.

    Reply
  22. Dave, RN

    “The long-term vegetarians and especially vegans I know do tend to have sunken, dark eyes, sallow skin, and a hunched over, skeletal appearance”.

    I noticed a celebrity that has taken on that appearance. When I read your post I Googled her. Yup. Ellen Degeneres turned vegan.

    Noticed when watching idol. She looks terrible.

    Too bad. By virtue of being a celebrity, she’ll inspire others to do the same.

    Reply
  23. TonyNZ

    A few New Zealand restaurants have some meals in different sizes. I just find stuff like the following amusing:

    Lamb skewers with seasonal veges and mint chutney
    Medium – $19
    Large – $23
    Huge – $27

    Because if they use small, medium and large people don’t think they are getting as much food for their money. But HUGE for 27 DOLLARS!? Bargain!

    I’d go for the huge and take half of it home.

    Reply
  24. monasmee

    Going after McDonald’s for children’s toys is simply ridiculous!

    If parents have already been saying no to saturated fat throughout the years because of misinformation, surely they can now say no to the onslaught of sugar and carbs through updated information.

    Said discipline just gets reframed by making informed decisions which Fat Head offers in spades.

    Goofy groups like CSPI basically want to turn the state into everyone’s daddy.

    Reply
  25. TonyNZ

    A few New Zealand restaurants have some meals in different sizes. I just find stuff like the following amusing:

    Lamb skewers with seasonal veges and mint chutney
    Medium – $19
    Large – $23
    Huge – $27

    Because if they use small, medium and large people don’t think they are getting as much food for their money. But HUGE for 27 DOLLARS!? Bargain!

    I’d go for the huge and take half of it home.

    Reply
  26. monasmee

    Going after McDonald’s for children’s toys is simply ridiculous!

    If parents have already been saying no to saturated fat throughout the years because of misinformation, surely they can now say no to the onslaught of sugar and carbs through updated information.

    Said discipline just gets reframed by making informed decisions which Fat Head offers in spades.

    Goofy groups like CSPI basically want to turn the state into everyone’s daddy.

    Reply
  27. Bruce

    Is it possible to file a lawsuit against CSPI for the hydrogenated oil fiasco? How many people were and are hurt by that nonsense? I hate frivolous lawsuits, but, I think we should sue them out of existence.

    And their little dog too!

    I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d love to see it happen.

    Reply
  28. Bruce

    Is it possible to file a lawsuit against CSPI for the hydrogenated oil fiasco? How many people were and are hurt by that nonsense? I hate frivolous lawsuits, but, I think we should sue them out of existence.

    And their little dog too!

    I don’t know if it’s possible, but I’d love to see it happen.

    Reply
  29. mrfreddy

    watched a top chef episode yesterday that had me tearing my hair out and “duh” slapping my forehead over and over… the challenge was to produce a healthy kids school lunch on a limited budget… all fine and good, but it was tragic to hear what their ideas of healthy were… yogurt over mayo… and oatmeal based taco shell… no fat this, low fat over and over again…. to be fair, their idea of healthy also included no sugar. It seems like the anti-sugar message from the low carb movement is filtering thru, but the “fat is good” message isn’t getting thru at all.

    To top it off, the guest judge presiding over this nonsense was the head nutritionist or whatever from the White House. Prattering on about teaching kids to eat this way now so that they will eat healthily for the rest of their lives…. I’m thinking, yeah, mal-noursihing kids so that they’ll be weak and soft boned and disease proned…. for the rest of their lives…

    sorry for the rant, had to get that out of my system. I feel better now.

    Based on what I’m seeing in the new Dietary Guidelines, that’s an accurate assessment. They’re finally admitting sugar is bad news, but can’t shake the idea that saturated fat is bad, or that whole grains are health food.

    Reply
  30. mrfreddy

    watched a top chef episode yesterday that had me tearing my hair out and “duh” slapping my forehead over and over… the challenge was to produce a healthy kids school lunch on a limited budget… all fine and good, but it was tragic to hear what their ideas of healthy were… yogurt over mayo… and oatmeal based taco shell… no fat this, low fat over and over again…. to be fair, their idea of healthy also included no sugar. It seems like the anti-sugar message from the low carb movement is filtering thru, but the “fat is good” message isn’t getting thru at all.

    To top it off, the guest judge presiding over this nonsense was the head nutritionist or whatever from the White House. Prattering on about teaching kids to eat this way now so that they will eat healthily for the rest of their lives…. I’m thinking, yeah, mal-noursihing kids so that they’ll be weak and soft boned and disease proned…. for the rest of their lives…

    sorry for the rant, had to get that out of my system. I feel better now.

    Based on what I’m seeing in the new Dietary Guidelines, that’s an accurate assessment. They’re finally admitting sugar is bad news, but can’t shake the idea that saturated fat is bad, or that whole grains are health food.

    Reply
  31. Dee

    My grandmother used to chime in whenever we watched television and the ads were misleading–“That doll doesn’t really walk by herself” or “Why would any person want to eat something that a cartoon tiger says is good?”

    My children had choices of snacks in the grocery store (no junk) and my daughter would invariably choose herring. I hate it when I hear parents make the excuse that their children won’t eat this or that. How do they know? These kids don’t have the experience to say what they really like or don’t like.

    That’s right. And ultimately, my kids can’t eat anything without my approval. They don’t go shopping or drive themselves to McDonald’s.

    Reply
  32. Shmaltzy

    God help us all! My home state here in Australia is looking to bring in the law for fast food establishments to display calorie counts on their menus.

    http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/fast-food-outlets-to-show-calorie-count-20100630-zjky.html

    “Jane Martin, senior policy adviser for the Obesity Policy Coalition, says clearer labelling on menus will help consumers “sort the fat from the fiction at a glance”.

    LOL!! …”sort the fat from the fiction”… these guys are hilarious…in more ways than one.

    All based on the idea that people don’t know fast food is high in calories, which is a load of bologna.

    Reply
  33. Shmaltzy

    God help us all! My home state here in Australia is looking to bring in the law for fast food establishments to display calorie counts on their menus.

    http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/fast-food-outlets-to-show-calorie-count-20100630-zjky.html

    “Jane Martin, senior policy adviser for the Obesity Policy Coalition, says clearer labelling on menus will help consumers “sort the fat from the fiction at a glance”.

    LOL!! …”sort the fat from the fiction”… these guys are hilarious…in more ways than one.

    All based on the idea that people don’t know fast food is high in calories, which is a load of bologna.

    Reply
  34. Bushrat

    @ Shmaltzy. I’ll welcome the calorie counting menus. That way I can get the most fat for my dollar. The NSW gov is so helpful in helping me save a few cents at McDonalds but I can’t help but think that maybe State governments are redundant if this is the most pressing issue.

    Reply
  35. Bushrat

    @ Shmaltzy. I’ll welcome the calorie counting menus. That way I can get the most fat for my dollar. The NSW gov is so helpful in helping me save a few cents at McDonalds but I can’t help but think that maybe State governments are redundant if this is the most pressing issue.

    Reply
  36. Bullinachinashop

    CSPI is really over-estimating how kids respond to these ads. When I take my 6 year old daughter to McDonald’s I ask “Do you want a happy meal?” She says “No, I want a hamburger, french fries, soda and a toy”.

    She pretty much expects that from any restaurant we ever bring her to… unless she sees a sushi place at the mall, then hamburgers be damned! McDonald’s has absolutely no elevated status in her mind, despite any ads they may have thrown in her direction.

    CSPI thinks we’re all a bunch of helpless idiots.

    Reply
  37. Bullinachinashop

    CSPI is really over-estimating how kids respond to these ads. When I take my 6 year old daughter to McDonald’s I ask “Do you want a happy meal?” She says “No, I want a hamburger, french fries, soda and a toy”.

    She pretty much expects that from any restaurant we ever bring her to… unless she sees a sushi place at the mall, then hamburgers be damned! McDonald’s has absolutely no elevated status in her mind, despite any ads they may have thrown in her direction.

    CSPI thinks we’re all a bunch of helpless idiots.

    Reply
  38. Linda

    Has anyone considered that CSPI may just want the money from the lawsuit? I’ll have to look up how they are funded.

    Let us know what you find out.

    Reply
  39. Linda

    Has anyone considered that CSPI may just want the money from the lawsuit? I’ll have to look up how they are funded.

    Let us know what you find out.

    Reply
  40. Pegi

    Obviously I have to expand Mean Mommy School. My children now range from 23 to 30, but they can tell you about it.
    No one is mean enough to be a Mommy without special training, so there is a school to teach mothers to be Mean Mommies.
    Rule #1. The answer is no–no matter what the question.
    Rule #2. If you ask for it, I won’t buy it.
    There are many others in the same vein.
    I don’t think that they EVER had a Happy Meal.
    The chicken nuggets in the children’s school lunch may very well be partly soy. McDonald’s are all chicken.

    Good point. Our government thinks soy is health food.

    Reply
  41. Pegi

    Obviously I have to expand Mean Mommy School. My children now range from 23 to 30, but they can tell you about it.
    No one is mean enough to be a Mommy without special training, so there is a school to teach mothers to be Mean Mommies.
    Rule #1. The answer is no–no matter what the question.
    Rule #2. If you ask for it, I won’t buy it.
    There are many others in the same vein.
    I don’t think that they EVER had a Happy Meal.
    The chicken nuggets in the children’s school lunch may very well be partly soy. McDonald’s are all chicken.

    Good point. Our government thinks soy is health food.

    Reply
  42. Myrna

    I am also a Mean Mommy: Ever since my son was a baby, it has been a rule that if a food is advertised on TV, or has a cartoon character or mis-spelled words (i.e. “Kool”)on the package, I won’t buy it.

    But how are you able to resist the whining?

    Reply
  43. Myrna

    I am also a Mean Mommy: Ever since my son was a baby, it has been a rule that if a food is advertised on TV, or has a cartoon character or mis-spelled words (i.e. “Kool”)on the package, I won’t buy it.

    But how are you able to resist the whining?

    Reply
  44. JStheguy

    *Start legendary sounding orchestral soundtrack*
    You hold in your mind, the power only our ancestors know. You can wield the word No. Tom, you are clearly the Hero of Parenthood. Go and save parental control, stop Michelle Obama, and protect free enterprise! GODSPEED!

    Reply
  45. JStheguy

    *Start legendary sounding orchestral soundtrack*
    You hold in your mind, the power only our ancestors know. You can wield the word No. Tom, you are clearly the Hero of Parenthood. Go and save parental control, stop Michelle Obama, and protect free enterprise! GODSPEED!

    Reply
  46. Dee

    My grandmother used to chime in whenever we watched television and the ads were misleading–“That doll doesn’t really walk by herself” or “Why would any person want to eat something that a cartoon tiger says is good?”

    My children had choices of snacks in the grocery store (no junk) and my daughter would invariably choose herring. I hate it when I hear parents make the excuse that their children won’t eat this or that. How do they know? These kids don’t have the experience to say what they really like or don’t like.

    That’s right. And ultimately, my kids can’t eat anything without my approval. They don’t go shopping or drive themselves to McDonald’s.

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  47. Beatle

    I remember being targeted by adverts as a kid in the early 80’s. McDonalds included. This is nothing new. When I was a kid, we went to fast food joints when my Dad decided it was time to take the kids out. This was not a daily or weekly thing. We didn’t get toys, unless it was our birthday or xmas.

    What has changed? Parenting. Kids today are spoiled.

    kid: “Mom, can we go to McDonalds”
    Mom: “No”

    It’s that easy.

    It was that easy for my parents, and it’s that easy for us now.

    Reply

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