I'm jumping right in with a ranty post today. Partly inspired by the lovely Queen of Spain's more eloquent take on the issue, and mostly inspired by the number of people who apparently lack basic reading and listening comprehension skills. And maybe logical reasoning. That's apparently missing too.
In an effort to help combat the serious problem of childhood obesity, restaurants have been making the move toward healthier options for kids lately. This week the attention was focused on Darden Restaurants Inc, which includes Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Longhorn, and probably a couple more I'm forgetting. A lot of fast food restaurants are on the bandwagon too, and I see this as a good thing. Many consumers have been asking for this, but there are actually people who are angry about it.
Yes, you read that correctly. There are people who don't want healthier food options for their children. I can only guess they want fat, sickly children? That's the only explanation I can come up with, because becoming red-in-the-face livid about healthier food choices makes no sense to most rational human beings. Unless you're two. My two year old does actually become red-in-the-face livid when she sees a powdered donut and instead gets a banana.
You know what causes people to act like two year olds? Politics. How does politics come into play? Well, First Lady Michelle Obama is behind the Let's Move! campaign which encourages healthier lifestyle choices; more physical activity, healthier school lunches, cutting sodium, etc. Mrs. Obama was on hand when Darden Restaurants made their announcement about lowering calories and sodium in their food as well as automatically providing a fruit or vegetable and 1% milk with all kids meals. Sarah Palin certainly didn't like the idea of Mrs. Obama encouraging healthier food in schools and there are people who are equally against restaurants providing healthier choices with their meals. - Did I just type that sentence? I did. How does this make sense? - Well, it makes sense in the way that all politics makes sense. People who hate the current administration are so polarized in their hate that they are bound and determined to shoot down completely logical ideas. They would rather have fat, sick kids than agree with any ideas associated with the Obamas. Or, they would rather openly imply they want fat, sick kids before agreeing this is a good idea. Neither make those commenters look good. Think it would be the same if a white, Republican First Lady started this initiative? I think not. - And before anyone assumes this is a liberal rant, I'm an Independent who did NOT vote for Barack Obama (and yes, I did vote). So there you go. I have no dog in this fight except that I'm a mom who wants healthy kids. Who doesn't want healthy kids?
So, here's where the lack of comprehension comes in. See all the words above that I have in bold? Choices and options. Those are the words. Not forced, mandated, or required. No, the words are choices and options. There are people out there who are so blinded by their politics that they can't fully comprehend that this isn't Big Brother telling them what to feed their kids. They'll say it loud and proud on every blog post and Facebook status update out there, but they're wrong. Absolutely wrong.
Here's an example of one comment I read on a Facebook page today:
"It's just pressure from some government hack trying to impose their will on our lives. We don't need MORE government intervention...it's government that causes problems and puts us deeper in economic ruin. We can run our own lives without some mamby-pamby pantywaist making decisions for us."
Alrighty then. No one is forcing McDonald's to change their policy to automatically including apples in their Happy Meals and no one is mandating that Darden Restaurants automatically provide milk and veggies. And, most importantly, no one is forcing parents to get these options. This is completely voluntary for everyone involved. Sometimes I order fries for my kids, and I still can. The only difference is that I have to let the person taking my order know what I want. I know, it's so difficult. It's ridiculous to ask a customer to speak additional words when ordering.
I'd also like to point out a little something. - You people who make these comments, do you have any idea what sane people think of you? You're on every message board, Facebook page or blog you can find telling people, in writing, these things:
- I have no reading comprehension skills
- I don't understand spoken words
- I want fat kids who will probably die at at early age
- I don't like healthy food for anyone
- I don't like MORE choices, just the same junk
- It's all about me, so screw you and your kids
Is that really the impression you want to give? That you're an idiot? Try actually reading about the topic you plan to comment on, and if you don't understand it, don't start typing. And really? I mean, REALLY?! You don't want healthy options at restaurants? Please, explain yourself. And no, the "government interference" argument doesn't apply. These are all voluntary actions, with no repercussions for businesses that opt out. So go ahead. Explain.