San Francisco Officially Takes The Happy Out Of Happy Meals

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]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Alvis says:

    Here’s your kid’s meal with coupon for free toy. Please step to your right to redeem the coupon at the next register.

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      You know what might be even more of a kick to the groin of these liberal douche bags?

      McDonalds sells the toy for the current price of a Happy Meal and the food is free.

      • Nick1693 says:

        It’s not liberal/conservative.

        I’m about as liberal as you can get and I’m against this.

        • TuxthePenguin says:

          You might not be for it, but San Francisco is bluer and blue, so much so its almost a new color of blue.

        • leprechaunshawn says:

          You’re rare!

        • 99 1/2 Days says:

          This is leftist, in other words, “progressive” not “liberal”. The left misappropriated the word.

          • dangermike says:

            Progressive is another misappropriated word usually used to try to hide marxist, socialist, left-fascist, and communist ideals. Sharing a root with “progress” is wholly disingenuous. The systems espoused share a strict hierarchy with a tiny ruling class dictating how people may behave, doing so on the claim that their micormanagement is based on what is best for the society as whole. The irony, of course, is that any actual implementation of such a “utpoia” is functionally identical to feudalism. It is one of the oldest forms of mass governance and a huge step back for humanity.

        • Muddie says:

          Yeah, I’m quite liberal as well, and I’m wholeheartedly against this and all laws like it. I think it’s stupid to legislate personal decisions — especially when it comes to what you can eat. This is just dumb.

        • Pinkbox says:

          Agreed. I’m liberal and think this is silly.

          • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

            Liberal here too, and this is one of the most asinine things I’ve ever heard. I love the coupon for free toy idea!

        • ARP says:

          Same here, I’m pretty liberal/progressive and this is stupid. I think you’re starting to believe the stereotypes you’ve created for us, rather than who we really are.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        I don’t consider this kind of stuff a liberal or conservative issue. Both sides like to tell people what they can do to their own bodies and how to live their lives. They just go about it in different ways.

    • Billy says:

      What makes you think that would work?

    • arcticJKL says:

      Or perhaps a mail in certificate.

    • Griking says:

      Or you can just buy a toy separately.

  2. grapedog says:

    Yay… the “apple a day” law moves closer and closer. As soon as seatbelts became mandatory, my dad said this day would come too.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      He sounds like a sensible guy. Seatbelts, after all, have proven themselves a red herring for safety. They provide little to no actual safety features when driving, and are largely for show.

      Similarly, removing fat and calories and adding fruits and vegetable to kids meals will also do nothing.

      • obits3 says:

        My Dad was a car salesman. Once he has a customer like this:

        Cust: “I don’t like seatbelts. Do you see this bruise?” *Shows bruise and proceeds to explain the accident and show my Dad some pictures*
        Dad: “You’re right, you wouldn’t have that bruise without that seatbelt, you would be dead.”
        Cust: “How so?”
        Dad: “From the looks of those pictures, you would have been thrown out of your vehicle!”

        • obits3 says:


        • JonStewartMill says:

          Yeah, I heard a nurse once complain that seat belts are bad because “I see so many people in the ER who were hurt because they were wearing seat belts.” Well duh, you didn’t see the people who *weren’t* wearing seat belts because they went to the morgue.

          • spazztastic says:

            THIS. Anything that can increase my survival rate in a collision is welcome. I don’t know anyone who was thrown from a vehicle and lived* (I sadly know of two who didn’t live) but I know plenty of people with chest bruises from seatbelts and broken noses from airbags. Guess what? If the collision was violent enough to cause those injuries to a RESTRAINED occupant, what would happen to an UNRESTRAINED occupant?

            *Being comatose for years or losing body functions due to sever injury isn’t living.

            • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

              Yes, exactly what you said. “Anything that can increase my survival rate in a collision is welcome.”
              The key word being “my.” Your life, your choice.

                 /ˈlɪbərti/ Show Spelled[lib-er-tee] Show IPA
              –noun, plural -ties.
              freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
              freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
              freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.

              *taken from dictionary . com

        • grapedog says:

          seatbelts are a form of population control, smart people wear them. we keep legislating ways to keep stupid people alive, it’s quite illogical.

      • grapedog says:

        the point is not whether seatbelts are good or not, the point is that they are legislating above their station. seatbelts are the smarter, safer option, my dad understands that… but each piece of legislation is another step towards more control over your life.

        My father and I are both fans of smaller government. Regulating what goes into a happy meal, whether or not it can offer a toy depending on what it contains, that’s not the job of anyone in san francisco. it’s a parents job to monitor what their child eats. I also understand that there are a LOT of crappy parents out there… why don’t we just legislate who can have children, it’s in the same vein.

        • Bativac says:

          I agree 100%. This is like laws making it mandatory for motorcyclists to wear helmets. If some biker wants to take his life in his hands, well, go for it. He doesn’t need the government requiring him to protect his brain case.

          Of course seat belts are a no-brainer if you are concerned about your safety in the event of an accident. That doesn’t mean I need some guy I’ve never met deciding that he needs to “protect me from myself” by requiring me to wear a seat belt.

          This isn’t what government is for. I can’t believe a government even has power to regulate whether or not a restaurant gives a free toy away with an unhealthy meal.

          • colorisnteverything says:

            The problem is that he/she will possibly end up with a TBI and in the hospital with the taxpayers paying, so the decision isn’t just effecting him/her. TBI’s are expensive. I used to work with TBI waiver clients and even after they go home and hope for improvement, therapies and doctors appointments are very expensive.

            • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

              Oh, man. Do you spend all of your time looking at people thinking thoughts like that?
              “That person is riding a bike. They could be hit by a car and need a CT scan and that’ll cost tax payers money.”
              “That person isn’t chewing their food well enough and could choke and need to go to the ER and that’ll cost tax payers money.”
              Should be also ban riding bicycles and eating?

          • ARP says:

            So, I get into a minor accident with a person who wasn’t wearing their seatbelt and they now have a severe brain injury because their head hits the winshield. I’m sued for millions of dollars because he was too stupid to wear a seatbelt.

            So, it’s more than his own risk, unless the law is basically changed to say, “if you don’t wear a seatbelt any injury you sustain because you didn’t wear it is your own fault.” It has some elements of that with comparative negligence, etc., but would need to go further.

            • coren says:

              No, they contributed to their own injury, and any reasonable jury would see that (and if not, it’d get tossed in appeals)

              • grapedog says:

                you bought hot coffee, you spilled hot coffe on yourself, win money!
                you worked at mcdonalds as a food tester, you got fat, win money!
                you tried to rob someones house, and fell on a knife, win money!

                It’s only a matter of time before some idiot lawyer somewhere along with some idiot judge, desided to award some vegetables family money because he split his head open while driving, caused an accident, and then nearly died, but not quite…

                What I think is most telling, is that most of our congress is made up of lawyers… coincidence? i think not…

          • coren says:

            I like the states that have mandatory seatbelt laws, but not helmet laws. If it’s about safety, be consistent. Otherwise, just admit it’s about the fines and the fact that there are a lot more non-seatbelt wearers than non-helmet wearers (because there are a lot more cars than motorcycles)

            • Costner says:

              The reason states have seatbelt laws is because the feds decided if the state didn’t have such a law, they would eliminate federal highway funding…. so in essence they forced the states’ hand. As to date, they haven’t done the same with helmets for motorcycles, although I fully expect it to happen within the next decade or so.

              Frankly I’m all for eliminating seatbelt laws and helmet laws under the condition if you are found to not be wearing it you cannot collect insurance if you are involved in an accident. I’m a little tired of subsidizing the stupidity of others via higher insurance rates. So lets all remember freedoms come with responsibility.

              • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

                “Frankly I’m all for eliminating seatbelt laws and helmet laws under the condition if you are found to not be wearing it you cannot collect insurance if you are involved in an accident. I’m a little tired of subsidizing the stupidity of others via higher insurance rates. So lets all remember freedoms come with responsibility.”

                I like that idea in theory but I don’t think it would work in practice. If someone is in a wreck and didn’t wear a seatbelt, it wouldn’t matter if Geico denied his medical claims for not wearing it. The medical care would still be provided and the unpaid bills would just result in the rest of us paying more.

        • longdvsn says:

          +1…we should legislate who can have children!

          Far too many poor and uneducated are having kids these days (possibly taking Peter Griffen’s advice: more likely to have one grow up to make it big in Hollywood!). Also reminds me of the movie “Idiocracy”.

          But seriously…they should have banned the meals outright if they’re proven to be unsafe (obviously they can’t prove that though, since having one happy meal here or there in moderation would be perfectly fine for a child)…thus, they took a backwards approach to circumvent the law and legislate what these companies can sell. I’m glad I don’t live in SF (but having a world series winning team would be nice).

        • Milch says:

          We need to start looking at Halloween next and start fining or arresting those that give out candy to trick-or-treaters! Make it easier for parents to not have to monitor our own children, keep up the great work!

        • quijote says:

          Governments exist to control people. But people who believe that just governments can exist believe there is just control and unjust control. So you can’t say that you believe in small government but are against all government control over people’s lives. And it’s ad hoc to call any example of control that you disagree with “above their station,” which is to say, “unjust.”

      • FoxCMK says:

        I can remember reading about how seatbelts’ mandatory inclusion in cars was a safety step forward, but the airbag essentially blew it out of the water.

        I’ll always, always wear a seatbelt, but I can understand someone’s desire not to.

        • Firethorn says:

          Actually, from what I’ve read, seatbelts are more effective than airbags. Airbags are a good suppliment, but you have to dial them up to the point of causing injury themselves if the person isn’t wearing a belt.

        • armour says:

          Ya stupid seat belts and how they keep you in a set in a roll over or keeps you from being ejects from the vehicles, Or how they keep people in their own seat and from smashing their head in to yours

          or how they save you from further injuries after the air bags go off and you get hit buy other vehicles after the initial crash, completely useless My friend as a paramedic much prefers to pronounce people at the scene and end his involvement there then transport to the hospital

          As for the Banning of toys in the meal If people cant parent they the the nanny state will keep doing it for them. From the state of children I see today maybe there is good reason for it.

    • FoxCMK says:

      Thank God for these bureaucrats. Otherwise, there might be TOYS packaged in meals meant for children. What horror!

    • sleze69 says:

      “Ah, smoking is not good for you, and it’s been deemed that anything not good for you is bad; hence, illegal. Alcohol, caffeine, contact sports, meat…”

    • maruawe says:

      Listen to your DAD he sounds like a smart man

  3. apd09 says:

    Ding, Ding… start round 5 for the debate of don’t tell me how to raise my children vs. pay more attention to what your children eat.

    • duncanblackthorne says:

      If parents did a better job in the first place, then busybody politicians wouldn’t feel the need to do things like this, would they?

      • George4478 says:

        Sure they would. The law is about power and control, not fighting obesity.

        After all, this law doesn’t only apply to bad parents or obese kids, does it? Kids that are well-nourished and physically fit don’t get a toy with their once-a-month happy meal…

    • Rose says:

      Yes, they would. Pols grandstand and put in dumb laws all of the time. It has nothing to do with reality and everything with making them look good for the next election.

      As a parent who chooses the milk and apples to go with the all-white-meat chicken nuggets, I’m offended.

  4. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:


    Part of me cheers just cuz I like sticking it to McDonald’s. What an awful place to eat, and a worse place to work :

    On the other hand, you can’t legislate responsibility, no-matter how much good you intend to do. “Stupid always finds a way,” etc.

    • Griking says:

      I don’t see it so much as trying to legislate responsibility as much as it’s making it less convenient to be irresponsible. At the same time it may also pressure fast food restaurants to carry higher quality healthy options.

      As a person that drives a lot during the day for their job I have to say that it’s tough to eat healthy all the time. Enter a town and there’s always going to be a McDonalds, Burger King, Wendy’s and some other fast food restaurant offering quick and convenient food and at a reasonable price. However eating healthy isn’t nearly as easy. Unless you packed a lunch yourself finding healthy food that’s quick, convenient and reasonably priced is a chore.

  5. TuxthePenguin says:

    Thank goodness. The horrid rampage of that devil Ronald McDonald, shoving all those burgers down kids throats against their will, had to be stopped! Now perhaps they can turn their attention to that White Devil Colonel Sanders and his continued, relentless assault on the African-American community with his death-inducing fried chicken…


    • RickinStHelen says:

      I thought he ceded the battle to Church’s and Popeye’s?

    • Michaela says:

      Unfortunately, you overestimate the decision making skills of a 6-year-old. They think about the toy they can get, not the health effects of their burger, and thus make an unhealthy choice. By eliminating the toy incentive, the decision to eat McDonalds is no longer about which teenie beenie baby one will get in their Happy Meal.

    • maruawe says:

      IF you don’t like ,don’t go there…..if the laws keep up at this rate they may require that you eat at a certain(to be decided by the companies contribution to each legislator) place each day….and what you can order

  6. obits3 says:

    Turn that frown upside down. Now turn it upside down again. I don’t have that thing you like. I’m in a box. =)

    • apd09 says:

      you have made an off topic comment on every post so far, what exactly is your end game?

      • JlGomez says:

        He might just be a child that wondered away from twitter..

        • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

          I wonder away from twitter all the time. I never touch the stuff, in fact. ;3

        • apd09 says:

          I get the attempt at humor since we are talking about a toy and a box, I just find it to be too much of a stretch and if you look at some of the other comments this person has made today they already made the same joke somewhere else, Smell Like Justin Beiber – My World – “The the woman your man could smell like”.

          • obits3 says:

            You need to read before you criticize. The comment I made was:

            “Too old for Bieber smell”

            This was not a reference to Old Spice. This was a reference to a Jay Leno joke: “Too old for Bieber hair!”

          • obits3 says:

            I will admit that I did reference the Old Spice add with “The the woman your man could smell like,” but that was because I saw another commenter call Bieber a girl. It was too easy. Bieber fragrance + other commenter calling him a girl = “The the woman your man could smell like”

            For what it’s worth, I didn’t use the same reference. o_O

      • obits3 says:

        This one was semi-off topic. If you want to get technical, there is a picture of a “happy meal” in the post with a smiley face box. Also, they did take away that thing kids like.

        Oh, and my end game is to avoid the fallacy of composition when talking about other commenters ;)

  7. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Damned food police. I will never visit SF again…

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Would you have before?

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        YES. In fact, I have, but it was long ago…

        And longer now.

        “You can’t legislate stupidity”, yet they keep trying.

  8. Thyme for an edit button says:

    Not sure this is a solution for curbing childhood obesity in low-income areas. How about having nutritious food be accessible and affordable?

    • Daverson says:

      That would be hard. Passing feel-good legislation is much easier.

    • DragonThermo says:

      Nutritious food will always be more expensive and difficult due to short shelf life. McDonalds hamburgers stay good for months. Fresh fruit goes south within days.

  9. Daverson says:

    Give the food away free with the purchase of the toy.

  10. JlGomez says:

    What the hell is wrong with these people..shouldnt it be the parents to decide whether or not the kid get a toy in there meal.. The just have no right…

  11. sodium says:

    I’m a little torn on this one. When I was a kid the only Happy Meal options were a hamburger, cheeseburger, and 4-piece chicken Mc Nuggets. Now they’ve added the ‘Big Kid’s’ meal which is double bugers/cheeseburgers I think, and 6-piece chicken nuggets…which is already on the regular menu. I agree with both sides of the predicted argument, but the ‘don’t tell me how to raise my kids’ can only go so far…

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Taking it too far:

      “Don’t tell me how to raise my kids. I can beat them, hit them, starve them, and whatever else I can think of. They are my kids and I know how to best raise them.”

      If the parents’ choices are causing physical harm to a child, then intervening is needed.

      Oh wait, the parents are causing the child to be fat, and nutritional deficient. Sounds like a physical harm to me.

      • sodium says:

        I agree. When I was a kid the biggest reason I wanted to go to McDonald’s was to get a toy. I knew the food was crappy, and my parents rarely took me there. If this had happened when I was a kid I wouldn’t have even wanted to eat there because I couldn’t get a toy.

      • dr_drift says:

        Fat little Johnny has a Snickers bar from mom? Call Child Protective Services.
        Hear Billy played too much Xbox yesterday? Call Child Protective Services.
        Did Melissa fall off her bike that her parents provided to her? Call Child Protective Services.
        Did Ricky g- Call Child Protective Services.
        Call Child Protective Services.
        Call Child Protective Services.

        I have an idea. Why don’t we just have babies and them give them to a government agency to raise them for us? They can give them back to us when they’re 18 and we can see what a great job they did creating obedient, toned and muscular adults who were never exposed to preservatives or greasy french fries.

        I mean jesus… they want to regulate their video games, their food choices, they want to hold their hand from the moment they wake up until they go to bed. What the hell else is there for a parent to do? I guess just provide the shelter. “This is my house, Kelly… and in my house, you have to obey my rules, except those that come into conflict with the State of California, in which case those laws supercede my authority. Here, they made a little pamphlet. Today’s a red obesity warning, so no cookie after lunch, okay?”‘

        If the State of California can’t be trusted to budget their money, then what the hell do they know about toys in Happy Meals?

        • dr_drift says:

          (btw I know it’s not imposed by the state, it’s just an example)

        • Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

          I’d like to nominate the above for ‘Post of the Day’ :3

        • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

          If the State of California can’t be trusted to budget their money, then what the hell do they know about toys in Happy Meals?


          • junip says:

            Just pointing out the obvious, but the state of California not being able to balance a budget has nothing to do with the local board of supervisors of SF passing this. They are, in fact, two different groups of people.

        • Pax says:


        • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

          + one million bajillion katrillion zillion.

      • grapedog says:

        i don’t see a problem in using physical punishment to discipline my own child. if you do, that’s fine, you can raise your kid however you want, unless you live in California.

      • Jezz1226 says:

        Parental privilege is an affirmative defense to a child abuse charge (in most jurisdictions anyways, I dk specifically what California’s laws on the matter are although I would not be surprised if they did not allow it), so while there obviously is a limit to what would be allowed under this defense parents do have some leeway and corporal punishment is not per se illegal.

        So, while I realize you are arguing an extreme its not quite as cut and dry as you make it out. Like it or not, legally parents do have some leeway in how they raise their children and may do actions that arguably cause harm.

      • 99 1/2 Days says:

        Now, there’s that progressive nonsense!

  12. Murph1908 says:

    As if my son eats everything set in front of him anyway.

    In fact, the toy would probably make him want to get down from the table sooner to go play.

  13. lymer says:

    Thank the lord, Jesus. I can now peacefully order food at a McDonalds without the tyrannical grip of Ronald.

    • Poisson Process says:

      Reagan you mean? Yea, I know, he’s been dead for years and we’re still paying the price of his free market fantasies.

  14. fortymegafonzies says:

    This is completely consistent with what the general population of CA has just said at the polls with prop 19’s defeat: it is acceptable and proper for government to regulate people’s activities that may impact their health.

    • maruawe says:

      get real, do you really want the government to tell you what you can and can not eat.. Get a life
      The rest of us are human, not robots, that take dictation on how to live our lives .

  15. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    “Food justice?” Are you effing kidding me?

    Guess who buys the happy meal for the kid…the parent. You know…the person with *actual* responsibility for raising the child. Not a bunch of douchebags kibitzing in a board room somewhere, plotting the next imposition of their douchebaggery upon society.

    And seriously…can McD’s (or whoever) not just decrease the cost of the happy meal by $.25, and then sell a toy for $.25? Or give a voucher that can be instantly redeemed for either another 5 french fries…or this shiny new toy?

    Or as others have noted, they could introduce McToys – take your pick of these swell toys for your kid for only $3 – each of which comes with a voucher for a free kid’s meal!

  16. bark says:

    “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”

    Obviously the majority of parents aren’t making the right decisions for their children otherwise we wouldn’t have the current childhood obesity issue that started all of this.

    • dolemite says:

      And…it’s the government’s responsibility to raise/monitor what children are fed at home?

      It’s amusing, because the same government that cut out PE, art/music from schools is now trying to control what they eat. Happy meals have been around for a LONG time. Obesity didn’t get bad until pretty recently (late 90s, early 2000s). About the same time we cut funding for physical education and other programs that were considered “fun” in schools, and started dumbing down the curriculum for no child left behind testing.

      • apd09 says:

        um.. don’t forget that is also the beginning of the rise of video games. I had a Nintendo in the late 80’s, but the mid 90’s is when Super Nintendo and tons of the other game systems really started to catch. The level of outside school physical activity began to sharply decline and the sedentary life style increased. Any one items by itself is not much to deal with, but couple together the rise in poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and sedentary life style and you have a recipe for childhood obesity because parents are too busy working 2 jobs to try to keep food on the table and a roof over their heads.

        To blame it on the cutting of funding to schools is failing to see the big picture. The barely 45 minutes of exercise a child may get in school, remember not everyone tries in gym class, is still not enough to counter the bad habits outside of school.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Yes, and obviously many parents are also screwing up…

      …whether or not to teach their children to be religious (and if so, which religion)
      …whether or not to believe in homeopathy, astrology, psychics and mediums…
      …whether or not to be Republican or Democrat. Or Libertarian, or independant…or to ignore it all
      …whether or not it’s OK to be gay
      …so on and so forth.

      The government doesn’t get to enforce it’s ideology on individuals…and the reason that the justice system can do things like nullify a voter-ratified resolution declaring marriage to be between only a man and a woman is because there have to be controls in place to ensure that the majority doesn’t abuse the minorities.

      You might be thinking this is a little out of scope with the issue of toys in happy meals…but it’s all part of the same issue – government interference with personal choice.

    • maruawe says:

      Rising kids does not come with an instructional manual.. Unfortunately most of us have to muddle through a very trying learning experience, we make mistakes but mostly make the right choices .
      and raise a child that we are proud of. Think back to when you were small, you are here now so your parents probably made the right decisions……

  17. areaman says:

    MCD did agree to stop marketing directly to kids (hence all the McDonaldland characters except Ronald were phased out of ads/marketing, etc). And at the same time they didn’t say how fast they would live up to what they said.

  18. pixiegirl says:

    but happy meals already come with a vegetable . . . french fries!

    Seriously though if parents want to feed their kids crap that’s their choice as parents. I think it’s silly to try to force kids to eat healthy at a fast food restaurant. This will most likely result in one of two things people will just go outside the city to get their fast food on. Or McD’s will end up serving fruit & veggies with their happy meals and then the parents will end up having to spend more $ buying extra fries for their kids. McD’s will end up making more money selling extra fries and a TON of food will most likely end up getting wasted when the parents throw away the fruit/veggie item that their kids didn’t want in the first place. Well I guess their could be the third option too, parents could just end up making their kids meals at home instead of eating out, which would most likely be McD’s biggest fear and is why they are working so hard to stop this.

    • Outrun1986 says:

      What will happen is the kids won’t eat the veggies, so the parent will order extra food for the child. Instead of sticking to the portion of food that is inside the small box, the kid is now consuming more calories and more food.

      Parents who go to McD’s aren’t going to stop, because they have to get food for their kids from somewhere quick and easy. If the kid wants the toy, they will drive outside the city to get the toy.

  19. darcmosch says:

    It does make sense, they don’t legalize something many want to see and then they ban something many didn’t want banned. California’s weird

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      As I understand it it’s not like this was a statewide referendum. It was the jackass festival known as the city council sitting in a room deciding on how to tell other people how to live.

      (At least we religious conservative types get a break from being accused of that!)

  20. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Whelp, back to playing with my food.

    Hey, check it out, McNugget-saurus is coming for you! RAWR

  21. HalOfBorg says:

    This just in….. McDonalds in San Fran announces that they have discontinued the sale of Happy Meals, and are introducing the Adult Unhappy Meal. It’s for unhappy adults, and includes a toy to help cheer them up. The toys are NOT recommended for children.

    Child-styled bags/boxes are available, on request, for no extra charge.

  22. RxDude says:

    I don’t think I would have a problem with an ordinance that prohibited bundling of toys with food at a restaurant. Forget nutritional standards. Parents would still be free to buy whatever crappy (or heathy) food they want for their child, but the restaurant would no longer be able to market the toys trying to get kids to pester their parents into taking them to a particular restaurant.

    • dr_drift says:

      That’s a little much, don’t you think? When I was a kid, I could pester my dad all day about going to McDonald’s and he still wouldn’t go. You know why? Because he’s a responsible parent. If I pestered him too much, I got in trouble. Wow, consequences! And they didn’t even need the beautiful, helping, guiding hand of big government to set me straight on my path. It takes a village to raise a child? Guess it’s more like “it takes a council of select experts elected by the majority of the villagers” to raise a child.

      • IR1 says:

        You are right on. The problem is people dont want to say no and dont want to be responsible because they are LAZY and lets get real… their kids were probably an accident.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        “it takes a village idiot to raise a child!”

      • spazztastic says:

        THIS. This is exactly how it is with my kid. He pestered me for a month to go to McDonalds so he could get the toy in the meal…never went.

      • Lollerface says:

        Dont get all defensive just because your Dad beat you with his belt when you asked for McDonalds.

        • grapedog says:

          what’s wrong with that anyhow? my dad used the belt on my twice in my life, and i still to this day, remember the reason for both uses.

          i don’t remember the one time he slapped me though, but apparently that too worked, because i never again sat down in the middle of the mall, screaming and crying and slamming my feet and hands into the floor because i wanted to go into a particular store and they wouldn’t go into it.

          my mom had her wooden spoon, which i’m guessing she used quite a lot…

      • ma1234 says:

        A little jealous your dad wouldn’t take you to McDonald’s?

        My mom sure as hell was a responsible parent, and took me to Burger King for a Happy Meal once or twice a week. And at 165lbs. and 6′, I am anything but unhealthy and fat.

        Some children/adults (i.e myself) can eat a lot of junk food and remain healthy. Some can’t.

  23. bruce9432 says:

    Lets tax fat people.

  24. infected says:

    Jeez.. government at work. People can govern themselves and their own family, we don’t need the nanny state telling us what to do. Fuck off.

  25. eltonwheelock says:

    I really enjoyed McD’s when I was a kid…I mean it was a treat when my dad took us out. Kids look forward to that kind of stuff. Yes, the toy is part of the whole McD’s experience. On the flip side though, he didn’t take us there every day, and never took us there when we asked (like when we saw an ad for the latest happy meal toy). He was in control. Not the restaurant.

  26. JulesNoctambule says:

    I don’t care about the supposed ‘nanny state’ as much as I do the lack of affordable fresh and nutritious foods that makes fast-food meals a convenient and financially sound choice for so many Americans.

    And just out of curiosity, how many of you screeching ‘NANNY STATE!!!!!11!’ support government restriction of who is allowed to legally marry in the US?

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      Not me. *No one* should have to get permission from the government to get married.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I really don’t like the idea of the government micromanaging anyone. If somebody wants to eat at McDonalds and marry someone of the same sex, then he should have every right to.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      There you go, injecting your agenda into a completely unrelated topic.

  27. Bye says:

    This is terrible. There’s much more nutritional content in the toys than in the food!

  28. spazztastic says:

    SO many 8 year old will have to spend their money elsewhere.

    Oh, wait, you say 8 year olds DON’T make their own buying decisions, their parents do?

  29. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I’m really torn with these kinds of issues.

    On one hand, people should be able to eat what they want and to keep the government out of micromanaging their lives

    On the other hand… I’m sick of paying $10,000 year for health insurance and God only knows how much in taxes to pay for the health care for people who make terrible decisions.

    There needs to be a compromise where people are free to make their own bad decisions but their choices in no way impact my checking account. I really don’t know what the answer is… abolish group plans and government spending in health care?

  30. Lollerface says:


  31. rubicthecube says:

    I remember buying the toy by itself when I was a kid (I didn’t like happy meals). Does McDonalds still do this?

  32. Pinkbox says:

    Ridiculous. I doubt parents are giving their children happy meals every single day, so I don’t see the point.

    What matters more is what the children are being fed at home, and on a regular basis – and I highly doubt toys are involved.

    This is coming from a very soon mother to be who doesn’t even like McDonalds.

  33. Macgyver says:

    It is the parents responsibility, not the damn government, or anyone else.
    And why the hell, whenever someone brings up some stupid shit like this, they always bring up obesity. How about mind your own damn business about what people eat. If their fat, what business of it is yours.
    I swear it seem like some people are cacomorphobia.

    • ARP says:

      But when you pay all that extra money for obesity related illness, increased heathcare costs (under a private or public system), lost productivity, emergency room visits, social security claims, etc. then it very much impacts your wallet.

      So, it’s trying to find the right balance of what we should control v. what we should not.

  34. menty666 says:

    Ironically, the kids meals are typically the only combos to contain sane portion sizes.

  35. Poisson Process says:

    I totally support this law, and helmet laws and seat belt laws. This isn’t an issue of free speech or freedom of expression. Choosing not to wear a seat belt or helmet is absolutely indefensible. There is no good reason not to wear one. If having the law in effect will save taxpayer’s money, then its a good law. Are you really arguing for the right to spray your brains all over the pavement?

    Regarding toys in “happy” meals, McDonald’s doesn’t care about parent’s rights. If parents exercised their rights to control their child’s diet, then no responsible parent would feed their kids deep fried nutrition-less “food” more than once a year. As a result, millions of McDonald’s restaurants would have to close. Claiming this as a “big government” issue is just a clever way to get the populous to allow McDonald’s to pollute the diet of our children.

    Read up on the campaign for a commercial free childhood. They’re doing the right thing.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “If having the law in effect will save taxpayer’s money, then its a good law. Are you really arguing for the right to spray your brains all over the pavement?”

      I’m not convinced that helmet laws save us any money. If somebody gets into a motorcycle accident without a helmet and spreads his “brains all over the pavement” then he’ll die on the spot. If he wears a helmet and survives, then it’s the insurance company (and later taxpayers) who will pay to keep him on a respirator and 24/7 nursing care.

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        Let’s kill all those on welfare. And their children.
        “If having the law in effect will save taxpayer’s money, then its a good law.”

        F-ing moron.

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      As I said in a previous thread:

      “Oh, man. Do you spend all of your time looking at people thinking thoughts like that?
      “That person is riding a bike. They could be hit by a car and need a CT scan and that’ll cost tax payers money.”
      “That person isn’t chewing their food well enough and could choke and need to go to the ER and that’ll cost tax payers money.”
      Should we also ban riding bicycles and eating? “

      Or how about banning cars and motorcycles completely? No cars or motorcycles, no injuries, no tax money spent on those accidents.

      • Poisson Process says:

        There is no need to repeat yourself. Your argument was nonsense then just as its nonsense now.

  36. shadowboxer524 says:

    I don’t think this will have any effect on childhood obesity. I just think it means more kids are going to be getting McDoubles.

  37. tjustman says:

    If people are not allowed to succeed or fail for themselves, how will they learn how to do the right thing? Saudi Arabia has an incredibly puritan state. What does that get you? Saudis who come to the US and act like disgusting sex-crazed, drug-addled, boozing maniacs. A friend of mine who refuses to keep candy in his house came over and ate a whole bag of mine himself. Is banning Happy Meals building character or solving the true problem?

  38. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    Well, SF, YOU are now *officially* Burgermeister Meisterburger to milions of children – “All toys are hereby declared, Illegal, Immoral, and Unlawful! … (Santa Claus is Comin to Town) The government is here to save you from yourself!

  39. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    BTW, Could this law could be used to fine some poor restaurants that give children crayons and paper placemats to draw on while waiting for their dinner? Aren’t those “TOYS”? Please define “Toys”.

    • You Can Call Me Al(isa) says:

      Exactly. Maybe McDonald’s could do this.
      Parents order a Happy Meal. Here’s a toy while you wait for the Happy Meal.

  40. junip says:

    Apparently I’m in the minority here, as I support this oridnance. BUT, I am also an actual resident of San Francisco. How many of you actually live here? Or are most of you slinging mud from other parts of the country?

  41. Get A Amberlance says:

    I’m not happy about this because on the rare occasions (maybe once or twice a year) I go to McDonald’s I order a Hamburger Happy meal since it’s more than enough food and I collect the toys! I am 45 years old! I figure maybe someday the unopened toys will hold some value (particularly ones from movies). I can pass them onto my adult children and they can pass them down if they so desire.

    What’s wrong with getting a toy with your meal? This is as bad as toys disappearing from cereal boxes! Why does everything in this country now have to be morose? If you want to splurge now and then and eat fast food–do it. For God’s sake, everybody’s so miserable!

    And do you really believe that McDonald’s is the only food source contaminating your health? Perhaps you should research ALL the things you ingest. You can’t even eat fresh produce today without it being tainted because it comes from foreign lands where they have no standards.

    I love how the hippies have completely taken over–alcohol is still advertised and condoned, people from all walks of life pop anti-depressants (among other things) like they’re M&M’s, the government CONTROLS every facet of civilian life, and wacky celebrity lifestyles are admired. But we can’t smoke and we have to adapt a “healthy” regimen. It’s all so counterproductive and yet no one sees this!! It gets worse everyday. Who in their right mind actually still wants to live here?

    • junip says:

      Take a deep breath. First, it’s not only about McDonald’s, it’s every fast food restaurant that this applies to. Second, they’re not banning toys in meals, they are simply putting standards in place that the meal has to have less than 600 calories, 35% or less of which is from fat, and contain some fruit and veggies. Third, if you really don’t like it you can drive to the city limits and get your happy meal over there. Fourth, if you don’t live in San Francisco, and are therefore unaffected by this, then maybe you should stop freaking out about things that don’t affect you.

      • mebaman says:

        San Fran can bog itself down with as many ridiculous regulations as it likes – I live very far away from there and never cared for the cheap-o toys packaged together with plasticine mystery meat sandwiches and processed potato product. Still, the fact that this nonsense is what passes for civic service in some part of the country is slightly depressing. I think the meme goes something like this: “Having solved all other problems . . . .” It’s just disappointing that San Fran would waste its legislative and civic energies on (1) concocting and enacting this useless piece of secular moralism, and (2) enforcing it – especially when these San Fran council and city staff members probably spent their formative years rallying for important things like civil rights and freedom from oppression. I guess you could say that you’re tired of paying for other people’s hospital bills in insurance premiums due to long term exposure to McDonald’s, but that argument can be applied to so many other unhealthy yet enjoyable slices of life that human beings enjoy on a daily basis, so I don’t buy it. Life’s hard, wear a helmet. Live free or live safe. Take your pick.

  42. mebaman says:

    It’s disappointing. The classic liberal is supposed to be a free-minded individual raging against “the system” and fighting for individual rights. Somehow, sadly enough, when these crusaders finally seize power, their mission to liberate the oppressed and seek social “justice” perversely morphs into an authoritarian edict to ban happy meals. You’ve simply traded one type of fascist (religious) for another (secular). There’s not much difference between laws like this the blue laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol on Sunday, with the underlying premise of both being that man needs to be “saved” and is helpless to control his urges in the face of (a) Satan (if you’re Christian) or (b) human nature (if you’re a secularist). In the end, we all die, whether it be from alcoholism, saturated fat, or just having too many birthdays. Just hand over the happy meal and the toy, and let’s forget this ever happened.

  43. Weekilter says:

    The city of SFO should just butt out. They have no obligation to nanny customers.

  44. Outrun1986 says:

    I think this is just a pointless law, its not going to solve the obesity problem or even reduce it. If parents have to feed their kids they are still going to take them somewhere to eat, and since pretty much all restaurant food is bad for you and will make you fat if you eat it too much, its just not going to help. McD’s might be the lesser of the evil, if they go to a restaurant, the kids are probably going to consume twice as many calories as in the happy meal.

    If you were previously eating at home a lot then switch to eating out a lot, you will gain weight, seen it happen to many people here. Unless of course you increase your exercise as you start eating out, then you might be able to stave off weight gain, but most people do not do that.

    If they include the veggies and fruits and the kids don’t eat them, then the kids will just ask for more food, which results in the parents ordering the kids more food, which then results in the kid eating more food than was originally in the small box. If everything is just left alone parents will order the one happy meal for their kid and the kid will stick with what is in the box and not get any extras.

    The resources used to create this law could be used for much better things, such as perhaps doing things that might actually have a small impact on the rampant childhood obesity epidemic in our society.

  45. AngryK9 says:

    Glad to know a bunch of useless, idiotic, overwight, overpaid and unintelligent moronic political jerkoffs know what’s best for the rest of us.

  46. FrugalFreak says:

    sell kids meals without toys and give free toy to those with a $5 purchase.

  47. brinks says:

    Like most people, my parents took me to McDonald’s sometimes as a treat. I’ve never been overweight or unhealthy despite getting a Happy Meal at least once a week, every week, as a kid. Even though I’m a vegetarian now and have no interest in McDonald’s, I’m appalled by this. If you feed your kid crap all the time, your kid will be unhealthy. The lack of a toy might dissuade kids from wanting to eat there, but it most certainly will NOT stop bad parents from feeding their kids crap from somewhere else. And, like in my case, growing up on McDonald’s had NO impact on my food choices as an adult. I can make my own choices, and so should everyone else.

  48. Levk says:

    If i was the fast food chains, I would pack up and leave let the city that already going bankrupt feel more money lost and more people outta work. It be a fun battle ^^ but no one would do that but it be great.

  49. Peacock (Now In Extra Crispy) says:

    Parenting classes, maybe? Do these kids buy the Happy Meals themselves? No, the parents do. All the Nanny Stating in the world won’t make people better, or even, barely average, parents.

    Where does it end? Does it ever end?

  50. Dyscord says:

    This is the most retarded thing I have ever heard. Seriously, what do they hope to accomplish?

  51. maruawe says:

    this is the most ridiculous things that I have read in months.. 1984 here we come. Since when does the government (local or federal) have the right to be monitors for parents. Are we living in such an age that people can’t make a choice (about themselves or their children) When they took PE out of schools the children do not have enough exercise to do them any good. true that childhood obesity is a problem but who is really to blame… the legislators of today believe themselves the smarter than the citizens ,So why don’t they act like. The few radicals want to run the country their way and the legislators are letting them buy the rules that we must follow……..

  52. Jane_Gage says:

    The Andrea Yates Food Surprise Pack. . .because everyone in this country does such a good job raising fat, illiterate, violent slobs whose problems are fixed with corporal punishment, lowering IQ points with every belligerent swat. . .and parents are always right.