Julie Gunlock

And, of course, parents can stop their children from eating unhealthy fast food by not giving them the money to purchase these meals. But that's not enough for the nation’s food nannies, who want government to step in and do parents’ job. The engine behind most of these proposed regulations is the Center for Science in the Public Interest—which last year made a media splash by announcing it would sue McDonalds for daring to give your kids a free toy (the nerve!). And they’ve followed through with the suit.

In December, CSPI and California mother Monet Parham filed suit against McDonalds Corporation because the company “exploits very young California children and harms their health by advertising unhealthy Happy Meals with toys directly to them.”

Talking about the lawsuit, Parham explained the harrowing ordeal she faces saying no to her children’s constant demands for McDonalds: “Needless to say, my answer was no, and as usual, pouting ensued and a little bit of a disagreement between us. This doesn’t stop with one request. It’s truly a litany of requests.” Does anyone truly believe that Parham’s children won't still demand french fries, even when packaged without a toy?

Parham captures perfectly how the CSPI views parents: spineless, weak, and at the mercy of children and advertisers. While the CSPI might try to portray itself as being on the side of these poor overwhelmed moms and dads, the truth is the CSPI has nothing but contempt for parents. They view parents as hapless creatures, incapable of making sound decisions about when—and when not—to give their children a treat. American parents everywhere should recoil from this kind of government paternalism.

I, however, feel a little sorry for Parham. Someone needs to get her a Happy Meal.

Julie Gunlock

Julie Gunlock is director of the Culture of Alarmism project at the Independent Women’s Forum (www.iwf.org).