business news in context, analysis with attitude

Last week, MNB took note of a Los Angeles Times report that the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors has approved regulations that establishes nutritional guidelines for restaurants, saying that eateries that do not meet these standards cannot offer toys as prizes for children.

"This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's' love of toys" to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food,” Supervisor Ken Yeager told the Times. "This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes."

The ordinance will not be implemented for 90 days, to give the area’s restaurants time to comply with the guidelines.

I believe that while it is incumbent on people who sell food to provide clear and extensive nutritional information. And then let parents make the decisions, or teach their kids to make good decisions. My feeling: This bill is absurd, and a great example of why legislation and legislators get a bad name.

MNB user Brian Polk wrote:

This is another example of government sticking their noses into something where they are neither needed nor wanted. “Amen” to your comment about parental involvement. No one wants to discuss the real issue of where responsibility really rests, and it isn’t the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors or any other government agency. The asylum will be run by the inmates if we don’t push back … and soon.

Another MNB user wrote:

I agree with you, the bill is absolutely ludicrous.  I do feel that the trouble with leaving it up to parents to decide is that parents may be misinformed, or undereducated overall – particularly with regard to nutrition ... On the average, Americans without a high school diploma have considerably lower earning power and job opportunities in today's workforce ... By no means am I a “social safety netter” – I don’t agree with most social welfare programs.  However, as an adult who was raised in ‘poverty’, my Mom lacked the knowledge to make better food choices for me, no less the means to buy better quality/grade of foods to feed her children ... The time/effort should be spent on providing education for parents on how to make better food choices. Consider, the Golden Arches offers Apple Slices vs. Fries for a happy meal – parents just don’t choose the former.

MNB user David Bernstein wrote:

I completely agree with your commentary about teaching kids to make good decisions when it comes to healthy food.  But from a business perspective, I don’t think McDonald’s will be any worse for the ware.  It seems like their biggest problem is that they don’t have a kids’ offering that complies with the new rules (and I don’t see a Salad Happy Meal coming anytime soon).  Taking away “value added” elements, whether by choice or by force, is never a good idea in theory.  But I can’t help thinking this will end up like peanuts and free baggage on airlines – we moan and complain, but at the end of the day we still fly, and we will still take our kids to McDonald’s.

On the subject of the new Arizona immigration law, one MNB user wrote:

I just have one thing I had to say after listening to all the "secure our borders" fellow "Americans" going on and on about immigration reform...

It's too bad that the North American Indians didn't have tougher illegal immigration laws in place 300 years ago...

I took note last week in “OffBeat” of a new Harvard Medical School study suggesting that if a person naps after learning something, it actually makes it easier to commit to to memory. The study results reveal that while people are asleep, their brains tend to work on making connections and processing links relevant to the information they’ve just learned.

Which led one MNB user to write:

My boss had to come in my office and wake me up after I read MNB this morning, but I think I'm smarter now.

I’m glad. This is my mission - to promulgate the importance of good food, good wine and ample nap time.

Guy’s gotta have a goal.
KC's View: