Don’t blame Ronald for your super-sized children

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STEVE CANAVAN: Aisle need to improve on my supermarket social skills

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Despite the fact that Ronald McDonald has always frightened the life out of me, I respect the big fella’s right to represent his beloved fast-food chain.

A bunch of health care workers in America disagree though and think it’s about time he retired. Apparently, he’s a bad example of some sort but let’s get this into perspective – Ronald’s not the devil.

America does have some pretty fat kids. But it’s not Ronald who puts down their tea in front of them every day, or packs their lunch boxes in the morning.

Unless toddlers have suddenly developed some super-power I’m unaware of, they’re blissfully ignorant about what a quarter-pounder with cheese is, until you make that first introduction.

So if you’ve got a child screaming out for junk food, how can it be anyone else’s fault but your own?

Health workers haven’t felt the need to run Ronald out of town in the UK, he just seems to have quietly disappeared on his own. But we’re as guilty as the Americans for turning a blind eye to our own children’s obesity problems and over who is to blame.

I was watching Fast Food Baby on BBC Three the other day and if the parents featured had been in charge of dogs, not children, the RSPCA would have been in quicker than you could say ‘welfare issue’. What kind of person feeds a toddler kebabs washed down with cola?

It takes absolutely no common sense at all to know that junk food isn’t good for you. The clue’s in the title yet people prefer to point the finger at the fast-food companies for targeting children, rather than face up to their own responsibilities.

One particularly clueless mother only saw the error of her ways when a dentist said her son was in danger of losing his teeth. It really shouldn’t have got to the emotional blackmail stage, but it had.

Apparently, I was a faddy eater as a child. But broccoli wasn’t replaced with burgers because I wailed a bit.

The green stuff stayed on my plate until I ate it. I can honestly say I’m not emotionally scarred, I just don’t eat broccoli now I’m a grown-up. Very mature, I know.

But the point is, their childhood is the only chance you do get to control their diet. Why mess it up?