Getting your kids to not eat fast food may have just gotten a whole lot easier in San Francisco. No more happy meals.
They’re not planning to ban the meal as much as the toy that comes with it, but really…the toy is what makes the happy meal. The government there feels that toys are used as incentives to get children to want more kids’ meals and are contributing to childhood obesity.
Happy meal = Toy = “MOM! I WANT A HAPPY MEAL!”
Sound familiar? How could the children possibly live without completing the set of kids’ meal toys? It would be such a shame to have Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie with no Bart Simpson.
The legislation intends to break this link between toy rewards and unhealthy eating.
The Healthy Meal Incentive legislation will set nutritional standards for meals that come with toys. The legislation intends to target childhood obesity and encourage healthy eating. Here is the official summary:
“Supervisor Mar introduces Healthy Meal Incentive legislation, which sets nutritional standards for restaurant food that is accompanied by toys or other youth focused incentive items. This legislation is aimed at promoting healthy eating habits and to address issues related to childhood obesity. Fast food restaurants target children and youth by offering toys and other incentive items. The Healthy Meal Incentive legislation would encourage restaurants to provide healthier meal options. To provide an incentive item, meals must contain fruits and vegetables, not exceed 600 calories or 200 calories for a single food item and must not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.”
This won’t be the first toy ban in California if it goes through. Santa Clara county banned toys in meals earlier this year.
Reactions are mixed, as some people feel it is the parents’ responsibility, not the government’s, to teach their children how to eat healthily, but others are all for the measure.
What do you think? Should toys be banned in unhealthy meals?
Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons by EvelynGiggles