NYC Proposes Banning Toys in Happy Meals

by , 04/06/11
filed under: Health,Kids,News,Politics

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Last November, Inhabitat reported that San Francisco banned toys in Happy Meals that contain excessive levels of fat, sodium, and sugar, and now it looks like New York City might do the same. Today, Councilman Leroy G. Comrie, Jr. introduced a bill to city council that calls for banning toys from Happy Meals unless they become healthier. Comrie believes the new rules would help to promote healthier food options for children whose parents are on-the-go.

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The legislation proposes to limit toys to Happy Meals that contain less than 600mg of sodium and 500 calories, with less than 35 percent of the calories coming from fat. Exceptions would allow for nuts, seeds, and peanut butter, which are high in fat but also great sources of protein and antioxidants. Happy Meals with toys would also have to include a fruit and/or vegetable or a serving of whole grain. For those restaurants that violate the law, penalties would range from $200 to $2,500. Comrie’s proposal is stricter than San Francisco’s, which limited calories to 600 and sodium to 640mg.

Comrie notes that he, too, is a busy parent and is guilty of giving his children Happy Meals. New York City already requires fast food restaurants to display fat and calorie content on menus next to prices, and it was the first city in the nation to require food standards for schools. Comrie’s proposal comes just days after the Department of Health banned high fat foods for its employees.

The proposal immediately drew opposition from people who believe that it won’t help childhood obesity and that the decision about what to feed children should be left up to the parents. But it’s necessary to note that Comrie’s bill is not a ban on Happy Meals or other fast food kids’ meals, but rather a means of alluring children to healthier foods and helping parents keep their children healthy during busy days and a tough economy.

Via New York Times City Room


1 Comment

  1. lazyreader April 7, 2011 at 8:04 am
    People who wanna ban fast food are just fukin’ snobs, the proof is simple. They’re not going after expensive gourmet restaurants. A 29 dollar burger has as much grease and cholesterol as a Big Mac or fancy steaks. This is just a consequence of a government run health care system. So they go after it in a different light by passing ridiculous taxes on sugars and sweets. If the government employs you, they’re paying for you as well (actually we're paying for them). Especially for pensions and the host of medical care their ass is receiving years in the future. So to trim costs in the inevitable future, they’re going after you’re way of life in the present so they don't have to pay for heart surgery, insulin, dialysis or expensive pills down the line. I have no problem with government employees being scrutinized by the government....after all it's the taxpayer who is paying for their health-care. Turn on TV and see how fat some FBI agents look. Would we not expect certain levels of fitness from our armed forces or federal or state law enforcement agencies who are government employees.