San Francisco Bans the Happy Meal: No More Toys With Fatty Meals
San Francisco Has Banned The Giving Away of Toys With Meals That Contain High Levels of Calories, Sugar and Fat
This means that the child favorite, the McDonald's Happy Meal, can no longer be sold in its current state at McDonald's restaurants in the city.
This makes San Francisco the first major city in the United States that has barred restaurants from offering a toy with a meal that does not meet nutritional guidelines. If a restaurant wants to give away a toy then they must provide fruits and vegetables with all children's meals.
"We're part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice," said Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure. "From San Francisco to New York City, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making our kids sick, particularly kids from low income neighborhoods, at an alarming rate. It's a survival issue and a day-to-day issue."
The measure passed by eight votes and a similar measure has already been enacted in Santa Clara County.
Just after the vote, McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said, "We are extremely disappointed with today's decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for."
The ban comes into effect on December 2011, and then restaurants will only be able to provide a toy if the meal is less than 600 calories and less than 35% of those calories come from fat.
Some parents and groups supported the measure, but others say it is their right to decide what to give their children and not the government's right.
Other companies will also be affected, but due to the popularity of McDonald's they have become the face of the ban.
This comes on the same day that McDonald's re-introduced the McRib sandwich for the next six weeks.