San Francisco Approves Happy Meal Fast Food Toy Ban

November 6th, 2010 - 1:51 am ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

Nov 5 (THAINDIAN NEWS) In a recent report from CNN, the Board of Supervisors for San Francisco, California has approved the proposed ban on ‘Happy Meal’ and other fast food toys which forces restaurants such as McDonald’s to stop adding free toys to the children’s meals if those meals are high in calories.

The action was sponsored by the City Supervisor, Eric Mar, who claimed that the toys are offered to entice children to buy meals which are not healthy. These restaurants will have until December of 2011 to improve the nutritional value of the kid’s meals, by adding fruits and vegetables, and any meal which is over 600 calories will not be allowed to include a toy. The belief is that childhood obesity is caused by the toys in the kids meals.

Mar went on to say, “I do believe that toys and other incentives attached to foods that are high in sugar, fat and calories are a major reason for the alarming rise for childhood obesity in this country. This is a very modest ordinance that is an incentive for the industry to take responsibility for healthier choices for children and parents.”

But the spokeswoman for McDonald’s, Danya Proud shares the viewpoint of the company, and it’s consumers. She said that McDonald’s is “extremely disappointed with the decision.”

“It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for. Public opinion continues to be overwhelmingly against this misguided legislation. 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. We are extremely proud of our Happy Meals which give our youngest guests wholesome food and toys of the highest quality. Getting a toy with a kid’s meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald’s,” Proud said.

As many mothers pointed out, it is not the toys in a kid’s meal which has caused the obesity of children in the US. Otherwise why has obesity risen in adults just as quickly? Most mothers maintain that the toy was more likely to cause the child to eat less, than more, since they often cannot play until they have finished eating.

Moms feel that it is the sedentary lifestyle of the American child, who no longer skateboards, or rides bicycles for entertainment. In a world where neighborhood football and baseball games have been replaced by video games and the Internet, and “value meals” continue to increase in size, obesity in inevitable, and taking away the toys won’t stop that, Mayor Burgermeister Meisterburger of Sombertown.

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