Legislation as Therapy

by Andrew Stuttaford
A member of New York’s City Council is taking a run at Happy Meals. Here are some key extracts from the New York Times report: 
Mr. Comrie’s bill, which he is to introduce in the City Council on Wednesday, would restrict toys to meals that contain fewer than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium, and in which less than 35 percent of the calories come from fat (making exceptions for nuts, seeds, peanut butter or other nut-based butters). In addition, the meal would have to contain a half a cup of fruit or vegetables or one serving of whole-grain products…Mr. Comrie, a Democrat from Queens, said, “I think it’s important to find a way to make a healthy lifestyle palatable and exciting.”…

Mr. Comrie said that he was motivated in part by his experiences with his own children, who are now 17 and 13. “Both are fast-food aficionados, and it’s my fault,” he said. “I’m not healthy. I’m the typical parent with no time and limited options, so you’re grabbing whatever is going to make your child happy. My wife has yelled at me repeatedly for grabbing Happy Meals.”

Mr. Comrie, who admitted that he was “seriously overweight,” said he hoped to “beg and cajole” enough supporters to pass it.

 It’s not Ronald McDonald who’s the clown here.


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