McDonald’s Sued for Advertising Happy Meal Toys to Sell Junk Food
When I was young, I remember watching ads for G.I. Joe action figures. Their plastic guns shot oversized bullets and RPGs, their jeeps rolled over immaculately constructed “battlefields,” and their futuristic technology looked shiny and appealing to my five-year-old eyes. I begged my parents for the action figures, but they refused since the toys were violent. Advertisements for toys on television have changed little over the past few decades, featuring kids having tons of fun with all of their friends while playing with the featured toy. McDonald’s has had great success in enticing children to eat their food by including a toy with Happy Meals, the majority of which feature unhealthy food. Now, a mother of two in Sacramento is suing McDonald’s, claiming that their advertisements for Happy Meals manipulated her children into begging to eat at McDonald’s. So why should we care that McDonald’s incentivizes kids to eat their unhealthy food with the promise of receiving a cheap toy included in a Happy Meal? Shouldn’t parents regulate what their children eat?