Unhappy meals

McDonald’s is trimming french fry servings in Happy Meals and adding fruit

Unhappy meals

Keith Srakocic/AP

The Happy Meal, introduced by McDonald’s in 1979 and coveted by billions of tykes ever since, has seen jollier times. Under pressure from critics, the fast food chain says it will cut the calorie count in the meals by 20 per cent thanks to smaller french fry servings and the addition of yogourt and fruit (sans caramel). The changes have done little to quell critics who have blasted the company for putting a toy in each meal, which they say amounts to bribing kids. Of course, if parents are really worried about their kids getting fat, they could take the apparently radical step of saying “no” the next time Sally demands a Happy Meal. The critics blaming McDonald’s for overweight children have yet to answer the real question surrounding the obesity epidemic: why is it up to a clown what parents let their children eat?

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.