Yay! Two cities ban toys in fat fast food.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Sep 28, 2010
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Fast Food companies: the obesity equivalent of a sex offender tempting a child in his car by holding out a toy?

“McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Jack in the Box and other fast food chains routinely market toys in their kids’ meals.

McDonald’s: authority on how to fight obesity in children, or an enabler?

Walt Riker, a spokesman for McDonald’s, said it was disappointed by the board’s action, adding that “our Happy Meals provide many of the important nutrients that children need,” including zinc, iron and calciumfor more, click over to NY Times.

McDonald’s, disappointingly and disingenuously, protests: “Banning toys is not way to combat obesity.” But I remember as a child wanting the Happy Meal, just so I could open it up and get my toys!

“Under the proposal, toys would be banned:

  • If the meal had more than 600 calories. There’s a 200-calorie limit for a single food item.
  • If the meal has more than 640 milligrams of salt or the single item had more than 480 milligrams.
  • If more than 35% of its total calories came from fat. Egg, low-fat or reduced-fat cheese, nuts and peanut butter are exceptions. Saturated fat could only comprise 10% of the total calories and trans fat only 0.5 grams.
  • “We’re committed to children’s well-being, and we’ll continue to learn and take action for our customers that is guided by science and facts,” the statement said. “The proposal does not reflect what consumers want, nor is it something they asked for. 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.Banning a toy is not the way to fight obesity or improve children’s
    well-being. Solutions will come only from education and awareness based on science and fact.”
  • McDonald’s has also come under fire from the health advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, which served the fast food chain with an intent to sue over the its use of toys to market fast food to children…” Read the rest here.

1/4 children in Santa Clara are clinically obese. 1/3 in poorer areas of SC, “a target audience for the various cheap meals that fast-food restaurants offer”. In San Francisco, other city considering ban, 15 – 23% of children are obese/overweight.


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


11 Responses to “Yay! Two cities ban toys in fat fast food.”

  1. elephantjournal says:

    via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    Jennifer Marranci You might have but when you are a child you aren't the one going to McDonalds and buying the happy meal. Your parents are supposed to police what you eat. It isn't McDonalds fault if a parent buys too many happy meals so why should they be attacked for poor parenting.
    about an hour ago · LikeUnlike · 2 people2 people like this.
    Sandra Gilbert-Boyer If you read/watched it you would be commenting differently I think.
    about an hour ago · UnlikeLike · 1 personLoading…
    Kim Rivers whatever…far more important things than a frking toy in a happy meal..what should be served a melancholy meal??///does not matter if our kids are fat if we do not do something about nukes..and global warming.
    about an hour ago · LikeUnlike
    Masa Shigekawa
    Child obesity is not from the occasional happy meal. It's happy meals for nearly every meal, and you're not getting it for the toy at that point.

    I appreciate the sentiment, but this will be yet another useless San Francisco ordinance that …does nothing.See More
    about an hour ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personElaine Replogle likes this.
    Mary Elizabeth Strange I read it – I think folks are commenting appropriately… it's kind of like not having commercials aimed at kids.
    36 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
    Gayla Jean Preston Just ban the damn food already!
    23 minutes ago · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading…
    Theresa Carter Why does anyone want the government making any more ridiculous laws? So this one law doesn't effect you, perhaps the next ridiculous one will. What if they decide you can't grow your own food?
    5 minutes ago · LikeUnlike
    Theresa, let's form a…let's call it a "Tea Party." Yah, government is awful: let's get rid of roads and traffic signals and parks and open space while we're at it! And schools! Seriously…it's a good point you have, but when obesity is a…t nearly 1/3 in Santa Clara, time for their government by of and for the people to intervene.

    Comment on the post itself, not just here, FB is doing fine, help ele!See More
    about a minute ago · LikeUnlike
    elephantjournal.com Kim, it's not either/or. Healthy happy vs. obese unhealthy children is a pretty important issue, I'm sure we can agree—and not impossible to fix, either.

    Comment on the link above, not just here, pllllease!

  2. elephantjournal says:

    Thanks for commenting here, not just on our FB page! Appreciate it.

  3. freeinsilence says:

    Go, California!!!! Whoo!

  4. John Gragson says:

    ok i put this on Facebook, but i will post here too, since you asked nicely ;-).

    not yay. as an old-fashioned Enlightenment type of liberal (who believes people should be educated and then afforded some freedom), i find this proposal ludicrous. it will be rightfully ridiculed by the Tea-Party types. what i'd be on board with is a big sign in the McDonalds warning people that the Happy Meal contains 600 calories (required in N.Y.C., among other places). this is not so much different than "raw milk" issue that was on a few days ago, except that "raw milk" (which i personally would never drink but have no problem with allowing people to drink if they're informed of the risks) is "in" with the left-wing-organic-yoga-hip crowd (nothing wrong with any of those things of course, but it DOES take all types in this world). i do agree with Rick that the Happy Meal toy has become a blatant promotional tool for Hollywood, and i personally don't like to feed my son a lot of fast food, but it's my call, and it should be.

  5. Laura says:

    So….buy a salad, get a toy? Seems kinda silly to me. Do you really think that McDonald's workers are going to tally up the number of calories in the kid's meals they are putting together to determine whether or not that specific meal gets a toy? No…I don't think so. I have a child….she loves McDonald's (as well as other fast food places) as most children in this day and age do…she wants the toy most times more than the food. I, personally, find the whole idea a little ridiculous and think it should be left up to the parent. It's the parent's responsibility to teach good habits to their children.

    The obesity epidemic in the United States is a simple case of little or no education about these issues and the progression of technology. When I was younger my parents would kick me outside to play. You don't see children playing outside anymore….it's sad. They all want to come home from school and play on their computers or game consoles. And the parents let them…or aren't home to help motivate their children to be more active. It's not the Happy Meals fault that today's children are obese…….let the damn toy stay.

  6. Howie says:

    Food is only part of the problem. Kids are spending more time playing video games rather than outside burning calories.

  7. […] Diabetes. Toys with Fast Food. Where’s the Corporate […]

  8. […] for our children—who while susceptible to bad advertising of sugarfat (you know, soda) and Happy Meals, are also young and impressionable enough to be influenced for the better by such celebs […]

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