Thursday, November 4, 2010
San Francisco's city elders love their kids. You can tell this because the city school budget this year has slashed funding for summer school, after-school programs, and drug education. Safety officers at schools are seeing their hours cut, resulting in the prospects of less safe environments. Teacher vacancies aren't being filled. The city has just raised bus fares for kids, and is reportedly even contemplating charging students for bus rides to school. But San Francisco Supervisors there have taken a huge step to better their childrens' lives:
They've banned toys in Happy Meals. Not just McDonald's Happy Meals, of course, but all fast-food kids meals. They're tired of kids being lured into buying unhealthy meals
The idea, apparently, is not to shield kids from cheap Shrek action figures and Hannah Montana pocket mirrors. No, it's to combat childhood obesity by discouraging kids from eating at fast-food restaurants. It's bad for children to be eating unhealthy food like hamburgers, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, and pizza,
Unless, of course, they're fed them in public schools, as they are in the San Francisco Unified School District, where these items are on school menus on a daily basis. It's interesting to note that the average meal sold at an SFUSD elementary school cafeteria is more fattening than the cheeseburger, fries, and Coke you get at McDonald's.
Under the ordinance, kids' meals can include toys only if the meal contains fewer than 600 calories. As it happens, the average kids' meal at a San Francisco public school has (according to the printed menu) more than 680.
Good to know that government officials in the City by the Bay are taking such good care of our kids. They are, after all, our future.