Should San Francisco Ban Unhealthy Happy Meals?Posted on Nov 9th 2010 2:00PM by Hilary Walke
Happy Meals may not be so happy anymore out in San Francisco. Lawmakers are looking to prohibit fast-food chains like McDonald's from including free toys with kids' meals that fail to meet certain dietary requirements.
Intended to help battle childhood obesity, the proposal to ban Happy Meal toys targets meals that exceed set levels of salt, fat and sugar. In addition, lawmakers want meals with free toys or incentives to include fruits and veggies.
Not surprisingly, McDonald's has serious issue with the potential law, which could go into effect as soon as December 2011. "Parents tell us it's their right and responsibility -- not the government's -- to make their own decisions and to choose what's right for their children," McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Prouds told the LA Times. However, Gavin Newsom, the city's mayor, has reportedly promised a veto if the law is passed.
I agree. Healthier food and kids meals are a huge plus. However, I would rather see them post nutrition stats and let parents make that call. You can't regulate everything.
You know, McDonald's CAN include in their menus a "side salad" like the kind Wendy's offers -- into their kids meals. Leave out the fries and include a salad. Also take out the milk and include juice. The cheese has enough calcium to exclude milk. Just a thought guys. But KEEP the toys :)
I live close to SF, and I think that the city has more pressing problems for the Board of Supervisors to tackle. This is just leaning on a broom. (Translation: doing something to look productive, rather than being productive.)
No it won't battle it. Just look at our grocery stores -- HUGE! And I always see parents buying junk. It is cheaper than buying fruits and veggies, especially organic! Plus, what about all the restaurants? They serve three to four times the normal portion sizes and it isn't any better than fast food... it's a crock! We need to educate people and children. School lunches are horrible too!
I guess it will help those parents who are too lazy to parent or to tell their children no they can't eat fast food everyday.
It's great, it may be the tiniest step in the right direction. Fast food is not food, its processed junk with a bunch of non nutritional ingredients. Instead of driving to McDonald's with the kids why not stay at home and cook together?
Too much control. My mother was able to say "no"... why can't today's parents do the same? Consequently, we got things like "Happy Meals" as a very occasional treat. It is a shame that this is taken away as an option... because it is up to parents to decide what to feed their children (and themselves) and not the government. Fact of the matter is, this isn't going to solve any obesity problem. They are not buying these meals because they have the toy, they are buying them because they are *fast*. They are not going to *stop* buying Happy Meals just because they no longer contain a toy. JMHO. Adult fast food doesn't contain toys... so all adults should be slim and trim, right?
Definitely too much government control. Let businesses market what they want and give people the right to make their own choices!
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