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Healthy Unhappy Meals

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When does mandating for health’s sake cross the line?

By John Pawlak

Every time I think society has hit rock bottom, someone proves me wrong.  
Last month it was the law makers of San Francisco.  They proposed a city ordinance that would force McDonald’s restaurants to add fruit and vegetables in their Happy Meals boxes.  
The ordinance focuses on McDonald’s strategy of including toys in the meal boxes, which the city claims is an unfair inducement for children to eat unhealthy food.
This raises an interesting question — do people have the right to be unhealthy, to eat or drink or do things that endanger their health?
Do you have the right to dip a pork rind into that jar of mayonnaise? Or slug down a Starbucks dark chocolate mocha Frappuccino coffee drink, ask for some extra cream cheese on that cheddar bagel and then enjoy half a pack of unfiltered Camels?  
Should it be illegal for you to mainline Cheetos?  Does the government have the right to prevent you from listening to Rush Limbaugh?  
Is there a need for legislated restrictions on physical or mental health?
For that matter, should people be allowed to live in cities like Bayonne, N.J.?  One summer, I almost passed out driving through it for lack of oxygen.  


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