Should govt take action on kids' meals?

July 26, 2013, 1:23 PM GMT+0

Democrats want the government to make kids' meals healthier, while most people want fast food chains to do more.

The issue of nutrition for children has become an increasingly contentious issue in recent years, with many healthy living activists taking aim at fast food meals targeted at children. Taco Bell has just become the first national fast food chain to drop all kids meals and toys, two years after west coast chain Jack-in-the-Box also dropped kids meals. Few proposals have been made to force companies to offer healthier kids' meals on a federal level, though New York mayoral candidate Christine Quinn has proposed forcing fast food firms to make sure that their kids' meals conform to school lunch nutritional guidelines.

The latest YouGov research shows that Americans are split when asked whether the government should be making more or less of an effort to make kids' meals healthy. 35% support the government doing more, 25% think the government does enough and 29% thinks the government already does too much. Predictably this is the result of a significant partisan split, with 50% of Democrats wanting the government to do more and 55% of Republicans wanting the government to do less.

Most people are, however, supportive of the fast food chains themselves making greater efforts to ensure that their kids' meals are healthy. 56% want more effort to be made, while 30% think that the current situation is acceptable. Only 6% think that fast food companies are selling kids' meals that are too healthy.

On the whole, however, Americans are ok with children eating fast food. Only 5% think that kids' meals should not be allowed, while an overwhelming number of Americans (71%) are ok with children eating fast food once a month or more.