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Banning Happy Meals – A Step Toward Combating Obesity

The food we consume on a daily basis has a bigger effect on our bodies and health than we often times like or think to believe. As childhood obesity becomes a greater problem in today’s society, the importance of a healthy diet has become more and more prevalent to our best interests. With the increasingly bad choices being made available to us, it’s important that we strive to make better choices for ourselves and our children. High fat and high carbohydrate diets have become the norm for many American families to the point where some don’t believe there is a problem.

While not all obese people suffer from sleep apnea, and while not all sleep apnea patients are obese, there is a connection between obesity and  sleep apnea. When a person is overweight, fat deposits in their neck and throat can put pressure on the airway and contribute to sleep apnea and snoring. The most basic way to treat obesity-related sleep apnea is a combination of healthier living and oral sleep apnea appliance therapy or CPAP, but prevention is a far better long-term solution to society’s obesity problem.

To that end, and in order to help counteract the effects of childhood obesity, San Francisco has passed a law banning the sale of child-friendly McDonald’s products “Happy Meals.” The new ordinance that will be enforced in December 2011 will not completely prohibit Happy Meals but will require guidelines as to which meals a toy may be included. The food and drink have to be under a 600 calorie limit and no more than 35% of the meal can come from fat. This has been enacted in hopes of providing healthier food choices for our younger generation.

No matter if you agree with the bill or not, it is indicative of society’s growing concern with the importance of eating healthy and maintaining a healthy weight. If this mindset continues to spread, perhaps our future will see fewer sleep apnea patients.