I read with interest, “Group Threatens Suit Over Toys in McDonald’s Happy Meals”: http://www.fosters.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100727/GJNEWS_01/707279875&template=DoverRegion.
I have no problem with anyone suing McDonald’s for contributing to the demise of the planet and the ill health of Americans with their knowingly addictive, sugary food and earth-destroying, animal abusing practices. However, it is important to note that the culprit is not McDonald’s alone but the sugar-saturated, nature-deprived, screen-obsessed and school-enslaved culture we have allowed ourselves (and now much of the world) to become.
Refined sugar is a poison, and arguably the number one reason that people carry excess weight. Our bodies are not able to cope with refined sugar and grain products, yet these foods comprise of the overwhelming majority of what Westernized people eat. Principles from the ancient human hunter-gatherer diet, now referred to as the “Paleolithic Diet“, state that when people eliminate all refined sugars and grain products (especially wheat), the weight melts off. For those who can’t part with all grain products (such as rice), cutting out all gluten (wheat) products can reduce one’s risk for the multiple health problems resulting from undiagnosed food sensitivities.
The second major environmental reason for the epidemic of childhood obesity is lack of outdoor physical activity and lack of unstructured play. The public schools, with their annihilation of recess time, their sedentary, boring instruction methods and their drudgerous, waste-of-time homework are a major factor. In my opinion, the US Department of Education is just as culpable for the obesity epidemic as sugar-monopolies like McDonald’s.
Children in front of a screen is another aspect of the lack of outdoor activity and unstructured play in their lives. Children seem to spend the majority of their days sitting still, taking orders at school, attending to mindless busywork (homework) in the afternoon and then throughout the day and into the night, their faces are staring at a screen. They are either texting, IM-ing, posting, surfing, Tweeting, gaming or watching TV. It’s as if our children’s entire existence is being reduced to being passive lab hosts by day and living in some pseudo-reality in a handheld device and a rectangle piece of plastic by night.
Over the years, many groups have attempted to sue media advertsiers for aggressivly brainwashing children. Due to regulations that protect media advertisers over children, these efforts have been futile. However, I doubt anyone has been willing to put accountability onto the US Department of Education for their role in reducing children to sedentary, distressed consumeristic prisoners who know how to text, but no longer know how to play.
If The Center for Science in the Public Interest aspires to sue McDonald’s for contributing to the obesity epidemic, then I hope they will consider suing the US Dept. of Education as well.