San Francisco Bans McDonald’s Happy Meal

San Francisco has enacted a law prohibiting restaurants from giving toys away with high-fat and sugary meals, including the American staple: the Happy Meal. This was done in hopes that children won’t opt for unhealthy food just because they receive a toy as well. The New York Daily News reports:

The McDonald’s Happy Meal went the way of Prop. 19 in San Francisco Tuesday when the city’s board of supervisors voted to forbid restaurants from offering toys with meals that contain too much fat and sugar.

Restaurants would also need to provide fruits and vegetables with meals that come with free toys. The city said the measure was an effort to combat childhood obesity.

“We’re part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice,” Supervisor Eric Mar told the Los Angeles Times. “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.”

The rule, scheduled to take effect in December, says that restaurants may include a toy with a meal it contains fewer than 600 calories – food and drink combined — and if less than 35% of the calories come from fat, The Times reported.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement that the company was “extremely disappointed” with the decision.

Continues at New York Daily News

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  • Hadrian999

    the happymeal clearly offers fruit and vegetable, ketchup and pickle

  • Hadrian999

    the happymeal clearly offers fruit and vegetable, ketchup and pickle

  • $927230

    Good. Hopefully the rest of the nation will follow suit. Probably won’t though. It’s likely only a matter of time before McDonald’s sues San Francisco. I don’t know anything about law, but I am willing to bet this could happen.

    • Hadrian999

      it wont matter in the long run, it’s more parents passing the buck,
      if parents don’t teach healthy habits to their children all the laws in the world wont help

  • Anonymous

    Good. Hopefully the rest of the nation will follow suit. Probably won’t though. It’s likely only a matter of time before McDonald’s sues San Francisco. I don’t know anything about law, but I am willing to bet this could happen.

  • Hadrian999

    it wont matter in the long run, it’s more parents passing the buck,
    if parents don’t teach healthy habits to their children all the laws in the world wont help

  • Morningside

    I’m so glad the government will soon be able to regulate everything I eat. I hate having to use common sense.

  • Morningside

    I’m so glad the government will soon be able to regulate everything I eat. I hate having to use common sense.

  • Haystack

    Or parents could just take responsibly for how they feed their kids.

  • Haystack

    Or parents could just take responsibly for how they feed their kids.

  • Butter Knife

    As an affirmed liberal, sometimes I just can’t stand the people on “my side”.

    You can’t force people to do what they should be doing for themselves, it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t even make sense. I’m all for encouraging kids to eat healthy, but this kind of enforced nutrition should stay in government run cafeteriass and keep the heck out of people’s personal choices.

    They could achieve the same end, preventing a reality in which poor food choices are rewarded with material benefits, by requiring any restaurant that gives toys to children with meals to itemize the cost of the toy and make it available with any purchase. I don’t actually believe that McDonald’s could care any less about what, specifically, is in a happy meal… they care about margins and marketing, and if cramming a salad into a box covered in paid promotional materials along with a 10 cent piece of plastic made by child slaves in china nets them an extra 50 cents every time a snot-nosed brat demands a toy, I don’t believe they’d hesitate for one second to do it.

    In fact, I’d put money on McDonald’s introducing a salad Happy Meal by month’s end for precisely that reason. They have made clear that they hold absolutely no interest in what you eat beyond whether or not they can make a profit by selling it to you at high volume in under 30 seconds. If that means feeding you carrot sticks, they will, and if it means feeding you candy-coated lard covered in non-kosher salt then deep fried in butter, they’ll do that too.

    This isn’t a restriction on the restaurant, whatever they might claim, it’s a restriction on people eating and feeding to their children what they wish, and that’s not a morally sound course of action, however nutrionally sound it may be.

    • Rohatsu

      I don’t think the issue here is so much that voters are trying to legislate what children eat as much as it is trying to prohibit psychological manipulation of youth concerning food choices.

  • Butter Knife

    As an affirmed liberal, sometimes I just can’t stand the people on “my side”.

    You can’t force people to do what they should be doing for themselves, it doesn’t work, and it doesn’t even make sense. I’m all for encouraging kids to eat healthy, but this kind of enforced nutrition should stay in government run cafeteriass and keep the heck out of people’s personal choices.

    They could achieve the same end, preventing a reality in which poor food choices are rewarded with material benefits, by requiring any restaurant that gives toys to children with meals to itemize the cost of the toy and make it available with any purchase. I don’t actually believe that McDonald’s could care any less about what, specifically, is in a happy meal… they care about margins and marketing, and if cramming a salad into a box covered in paid promotional materials along with a 10 cent piece of plastic made by child slaves in china nets them an extra 50 cents every time a snot-nosed brat demands a toy, I don’t believe they’d hesitate for one second to do it.

    In fact, I’d put money on McDonald’s introducing a salad Happy Meal by month’s end for precisely that reason. They have made clear that they hold absolutely no interest in what you eat beyond whether or not they can make a profit by selling it to you at high volume in under 30 seconds. If that means feeding you carrot sticks, they will, and if it means feeding you candy-coated lard covered in non-kosher salt then deep fried in butter, they’ll do that too.

    This isn’t a restriction on the restaurant, whatever they might claim, it’s a restriction on people eating and feeding to their children what they wish, and that’s not a morally sound course of action, however nutrionally sound it may be.

  • Rohatsu

    I don’t think the issue here is so much that voters are trying to legislate what children eat as much as it is trying to prohibit psychological manipulation of youth concerning food choices.

  • SynapseMatrices

    This only outlaws the toy, not the unhealthy food. I’m pretty sure that the people purchasing happy meals will still be eating at McDonald’s and purchasing poor nutritional choices for their children…

  • SynapseMatrices

    This only outlaws the toy, not the unhealthy food. I’m pretty sure that the people purchasing happy meals will still be eating at McDonald’s and purchasing poor nutritional choices for their children…

    • FoodNazi

      So would you like health fascism? Out law any unhealthy food and throw the parents in jail if they feed them bad food! Maybe we can start “healthy eating camps” what do you say? Well were at it let force all 2 be vegetarians. c’mon its a great plan i swear then be can start banning raw foods too.

      P.S and im the dickhead?

      • NaturalSelection

        “Out law any unhealthy food and throw the parents in jail if they feed them bad food” Yes, exactly. Why would that be such a bad thing? We do the same to parents who are caught giving there kids alcohol and other (non-prescribed) drugs…hell, if the little bastards starting eating that much healthier, perhaps there might even be a decline in the need for (some) prescribed drugs. If kids grew up in a world where there was no such thing as sugar and eating meat was never even presented as being an option, guess what…they would not miss it! All food should be healthy, natural, organic and affordable…make it tasty and delicious, and they won’t want for anything else. And as far as the whole “there aren’t enough resources to give everyone access to such high-quality food”, I say: “Population control: boys make sperm deposits when they hit puberty and then snip-snip. Want a kid when you are an adult? Apply for a license, just like everyone else.” It’s not that things on this planet can’t or won’t change…it’s that most people are pussies and are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices to insure that our species not only survives but thrives.

        • Andrew

          Rather than go after the parents–who often have no financially viable alternative thanks to unhealthy food subsidies–why not go after the producers?

      • SynapseMatrices

        No FoodNazi, you misunderstood. My point is that the law is a pathetic and futile attempt to try to regulate nutrition when often it is a matter of money. The SF city government has done nothing but take toys away from children. It has not provided them with better food and they have failed miserably. With that said, I am aware that many people also go to McDonald’s by choice. While some regulations might be implemented concerning the overall quality of fast food I think that for the most part personal nutrition is a choice and the nutrition of children is the responsibility of parents, guardians, or wards. If people want fast food for their children then so be it. I can distinctly remember wanting happy meals when I was a kid because they were fucking cool. But I grew out of it. Happy Meals did not harm me in any measurable, lasting way and I feel that for the majority of the billions McDonald’s has served over the years it is the same.

  • Cerebralcaustic

    What an illiberal law from the supposedly liberal Bay Area.

    But they’ll probably keep doing what they think is best on the left coast, even if it continues to drive their economy into bankruptcy and ruin.

  • Cerebralcaustic

    What an illiberal law from the supposedly liberal Bay Area.

    But they’ll probably keep doing what they think is best on the left coast, even if it continues to drive their economy into bankruptcy and ruin.

    • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

      We’re actually in perfect sync on this one. Rather than representing the intellectual left, this is food activist micro issue BS taken to its farthest extreme…and its a hopeless failure, ethically, morally and intellectually. Even taking away the toys will not change the eating habits that people acquire…nor will it change the principle that people must take charge of themselves and their choices to experience real freedom. In the end, whether right or left, nanny state activism that legislates peoples health or moral character by directing their permitted choices is always onerous, unsupportable and wrong on every level.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    We’re actually in perfect sync on this one. Rather than representing the intellectual left, this is food activist micro issue BS taken to its farthest extreme…and its a hopeless failure, ethically, morally and intellectually. Even taking away the toys will not change the eating habits that people acquire…nor will it change the principle that people must take charge of themselves and their choices to experience real freedom. In the end, whether right or left, nanny state activism that legislates peoples health or moral character by directing their permitted choices is always onerous, unsupportable and wrong on every level.

  • NaturalSelection

    We should outlaw ALL flavor chemicals and unnaturally processed foods or change the laws so that you have to be eighteen-plus in order to purchase/consume them. Once you are an adult, you can make those decisions for yourself. Parents caught feeding their kids this shit should be fined and/or have their children taken away from them. Real change isn’t just going to magically happen because we wish the world was a healthier place…we need to make it happen by educating the stupid people. And telling the they can’t do something and WHY they can’t or shouldn’t is a legitimate form of education. But just like with nicotine and alcohol, if they choose to consume it as an adult, then that is their choice and they should be free to make it…they will have no one to blame but themselves if they are unhappy with the consequences of said choices. Personally, I would like to just see such crap banned for everyone, kids and adults alike…would like to be able to go into a restaurant or grocery store and not have to worry about what I am ordering/buying – whether it is coated in chemicals or has been treated with who-knows-what-kind-of-crap. A world where all food is healthy, organic and affordable…can someone please tell me why the fuck would that be such a bad thing?

  • NaturalSelection

    We should outlaw ALL flavor chemicals and unnaturally processed foods or change the laws so that you have to be eighteen-plus in order to purchase/consume them. Once you are an adult, you can make those decisions for yourself. Parents caught feeding their kids this shit should be fined and/or have their children taken away from them. Real change isn’t just going to magically happen because we wish the world was a healthier place…we need to make it happen by educating the stupid people. And telling the they can’t do something and WHY they can’t or shouldn’t is a legitimate form of education. But just like with nicotine and alcohol, if they choose to consume it as an adult, then that is their choice and they should be free to make it…they will have no one to blame but themselves if they are unhappy with the consequences of said choices. Personally, I would like to just see such crap banned for everyone, kids and adults alike…would like to be able to go into a restaurant or grocery store and not have to worry about what I am ordering/buying – whether it is coated in chemicals or has been treated with who-knows-what-kind-of-crap. A world where all food is healthy, organic and affordable…can someone please tell me why the fuck would that be such a bad thing?

  • FoodNazi

    So would you like health fascism? Out law any unhealthy food and throw the parents in jail if they feed them bad food! Maybe we can start “healthy eating camps” what do you say? Well were at it let force all 2 be vegetarians. c’mon its a great plan i swear then be can start banning raw foods too.

    P.S and im the dickhead?

  • NaturalSelection

    “Out law any unhealthy food and throw the parents in jail if they feed them bad food” Yes, exactly. Why would that be such a bad thing? We do the same to parents who are caught giving there kids alcohol and other (non-prescribed) drugs…hell, if the little bastards starting eating that much healthier, perhaps there might even be a decline in the need for (some) prescribed drugs. If kids grew up in a world where there was no such thing as sugar and eating meat was never even presented as being an option, guess what…they would not miss it! All food should be healthy, natural, organic and affordable…make it tasty and delicious, and they won’t want for anything else. And as far as the whole “there aren’t enough resources to give everyone access to such high-quality food”, I say: “Population control: boys make sperm deposits when they hit puberty and then snip-snip. Want a kid when you are an adult? Apply for a license, just like everyone else.” It’s not that things on this planet can’t or won’t change…it’s that most people are pussies and are not willing to make the necessary sacrifices to insure that our species not only survives but thrives.

  • Andrew

    Rather than go after the parents–who often have no financially viable alternative thanks to unhealthy food subsidies–why not go after the producers?

  • SynapseMatrices

    No FoodNazi, you misunderstood. My point is that the law is a pathetic and futile attempt to try to regulate nutrition when often it is a matter of money. The SF city government has done nothing but take toys away from children. It has not provided them with better food and they have failed miserably. With that said, I am aware that many people also go to McDonald’s by choice. While some regulations might be implemented concerning the overall quality of fast food I think that for the most part personal nutrition is a choice and the nutrition of children is the responsibility of parents, guardians, or wards. If people want fast food for their children then so be it. I can distinctly remember wanting happy meals when I was a kid because they were fucking cool. But I grew out of it. Happy Meals did not harm me in any measurable, lasting way and I feel that for the majority of the billions McDonald’s has served over the years it is the same.

  • justagirl

    HA HA?

  • justagirl

    HA HA?

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