Who is responsible for childrens health with respect to food

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Reference no: EM13854157

Discussion: Ethics in Practice

Directions: For the situation below, determine the facts and assumptions, the major overriding issues or problems, sub-issues and related issues that may need consideration, the stakeholders, do a CSR analysis, an evaluation and a recommendation. Then answer the questions to this situation based on this analysis. Interact with other students by responding to their postings.

Participate in the Module 8: Ethics in Practice Discussion. - Should Toy Giveaways Be Banned? Who is Responsible for Children's Health? p. 409.


Should Toy Giveaways Be Banned? Who Is Responsible for Children's Health?

In a dramatic decision, the Santa Clara County, California, Board of Supervisors passed a new ordinance that will ban Happy Meal' toys and other promotional give¬aways that restaurants use to promote their high-calorie meals to children. The officials are convinced that luring kids into eating foods with high sugar, sodium, and fat by using toys as inducements will make them overweight and cause long-term health problems. The only escape from this ban will be if the restaurants can meet newly created nutritional guidelines approved by the board. The board voted 3 to 2 in favor of the ban after a conten¬tious meeting that included testimony on both sides of the issue.

One of the board supervisors was quoted as saying, "This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children's love of toys" to sell high-calorie, unhealthful food. He went on to argue that "ftlhis ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes." Also in favor of the ordinance were public health administra¬tors, parents, and doctors. Opposition included fast-food franchisees, other parents, and supporters of fast-food toys who said the promotions are frequently used to provide Christmas presents for poor children.

One physician who sees obese children on a daily basis argued that the toys are a powerful draw for chil¬dren who then convince their parents to take them to the fast-food restaurants. This doctor said that parents tell them they take their children to the restaurants because of the toy giveaways. He mentioned that he has a five-year-old patient who already has type-2 diabetes.

On the other side of the issue was an owner of seven McDonald's restaurants. He argued that he and his wife work very diligently to promote healthy lifestyles for children and that they have donated to chil¬dren's sports and other activities, and recently received an award for community service from the parent company.

The board agreed to postpone the implementation of the new law for 90 days to give the fast-food industry time to initiate it own voluntary program for improving the nutritional value of children's meals.

1. Who is responsible for children's health with respect to fast food? Did the board of supervisors overstep its boundaries?

2. Does this legislation block free choice for consumers?

3. What is the ethical course of action for fast-food restaurants to take in light of the childhood obesity issue and other health concerns?

Reference no: EM13854157

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