McDonald's is replacing Happy Meal toys in the United Kingdom
with books, and one regulations expert has questions about the
The non-fiction books involve topics like oceans, animals and
stars. McDonald's plans to give away 15 million books by 2015,
which will make it the largest distributor of children's books in
Julie Gunlock, director of the Women for Food Freedom Project at
the Independent Women's
Forum (IWF), believes there may be another agenda involved
in this project.
"I just wonder if it'll be about nature, or if it will be about
global warming; if it will be about animals, or about animals that
will be extinct because of human causes," she remarks. "So it'll be
interesting to see the types of books that come out."
Another fast-food outlet, Chick-fil-A, also features books
in its kids' meals, and Gunlock says she likes those books, as
do her children.
"They're the Berenstain Bears and they talk about the Golden
Rule and how to be polite and nice," she accounts. "I wonder
if [McDonald's] books, though, will have more of an
environmental or sort of social welfare kind of message."
AOL points out that McDonald's is often
accused of "super-sizing childhood obesity" and questions whether
this effort in the U.K. is an attempt to banish that image. The
website also notes the question of whether this change
will occur at McDonald's in the United States.
"San Francisco banned toys in Happy Meals under the
assumption that it would reduce obesity," the IWF
spokesperson tells OneNewsNow. "It's absurd, because
ultimately, parents are the ones purchasing the Happy Meal. And so
the idea that parents are so idle and simple-minded that they can't
say 'no' to their children is insulting. I don't know why mothers
weren't more outraged by this suggestion -- and yes, I do think it
is going to cross the pond."
McDonald's was later allowed to include toys in Happy Meals in
San Franciso and other parts of California, following a judge's
ruling in 2012.