After months of talking about the topic, San Francisco’s board of supervisors has gone and done it, approving a measure that would effectively end the sale of most McDonald’s Happy Meals — and most other fast food kids’ meals — within city limits.
The law doesn’t ban kids meals outright, but forbids the inclusion of a toy or other prize with meals that don’t meet certain standards.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Under the ordinance, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, restaurants may include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain fewer than 600 calories, and if less than 35 percent of the calories come from fat….
The ordinance also would require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.
As we reported back in August, this would severely limit McDonald’s Happy Meal menu to only include some of its McNugget meals.
Said the supervisor who sponsored the ordinance:
We’re part of a movement that is moving forward an agenda of food justice… 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.
A rep for McDonald’s said, “We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for…. Public opinion continues to be overwhelmingly against this misguided legislation… Parents tell us it’s their right and responsibility — not the government’s — to make their own decisions and to choose what’s right for their children.”
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom had previously stated his opposition to the law, but it received enough support on the board to override any mayoral veto, lest one of the supervisors has a change of heart.
San Francisco bans Happy Meals [Chicago Tribune]