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Despite Ban, Toys Offered With Happy Meals In San Francisco

To combat childhood obesity, San Fransisco banned toys included with high-fat children's meals. McDonald's decided to sell them for 10 cents each instead.

mcdonalds toy

Photo: Kyle Wang (flickr)

Banning toys with high-fat children's meals -- smart move to combat obesity, or "nanny politics?"

San Francisco enacted a ban on toys offered with children’s high-fat meals, the Healthy Food Incentives Ordinance, which went into effect Thursday — but local McDonald’s restaurants have found a way around it.

McDonald’s will sell toys for 10 cents with their Happy Meals. The proceeds from the toys will benefit Ronald McDonald House, a charity for sick children.

Some are chiding McDonald’s for not “doing the right thing” — limiting marketing to children and improving the nutritional value of its kid’s meals. ”Though McDonald’s has taken this cynical approach to sidestep the new policy,” says Sara Deon, the Value [the] Meal Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability International, “the law has already had a tremendous impact.”

Others argue “nanny politics.”

Associate professor of pediatrics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York Keith Ayoob argued banning toys in fast food meals was the wrong way to combat childhood obesity. Politics, not nutrition, were the central concern, he said.

Read More:

  • McDonald’s will charge for Happy Meal toys in SF (San Fransisco Chronicle)
  • McDonald’s Skirts Ban; Charges 10 Cents Per Happy Meal Toy (ABC News)
  • San Francisco Happy Meal Toy Ban Takes Effect, Sidestepped By McDonald’s (Huffington Post)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Bloomington, Indiana. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

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