Friday, November 5, 2010


Law Curbs McDonald's Happy Meal Toys

As the country continues to wage war against obesity, health advocates have set their aim on fast-food chains such as McDonald's in the way they market their kid's meal options.

A new San Francisco law looks to prohibit children's meals to be packaged with toys unless they have less than 600 calories in order to avoid children opting for unhealthy meals simply to earn a prize.

I've posted the article below in yellow text, with a link to the site is at the bottom of the post.

What's wrong with you California? First you cop out on legal weed, and now you want to keep kids and stoners from their free Transformer toys?

San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to pass a law that cracks down on the popular practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant meals for children.

San Francisco's Board of Supervisors passed the law on Tuesday on a veto-proof 8-to-3 vote. It takes effect on December 1, 2011.

The law, like an ordinance passed earlier this year in nearby Santa Clara County, would require that restaurant kids' meals meet certain nutritional standards before they could be sold with toys.

Opponents of the law include the National Restaurant Association and McDonald's Corp, which used its now wildly popular Happy Meal to pioneer the use of free toys to market directly to children.

"We are extremely disappointed with today's decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for," McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement.

"Getting a toy with a kid's meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald's," Proud said.

The San Francisco law would allow toys to be given away with kids' meals that have less than 600 calories, contain fruits and vegetables, and include beverages without excessive fat or sugar.

Backers of the ordinance say it aims to promote healthy eating habits while combating childhood obesity.

"Our children are sick. Rates of obesity in San Francisco are disturbingly high, especially among children of color," said San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure.

"This is a challenge to the restaurant industry to think about children's health first and join the wide range of local restaurants that have already made this commitment," Mar said.

Fifteen percent of American children are overweight or obese -- which puts them at risk of developing heart disease, diabetes and cancer, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In some states, the childhood obesity rate is over 30 percent.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest this summer threatened to sue McDonald's if it did not stop using Happy Meal toys to lure children into its restaurants. A lawyer for that group said it is on track to file the lawsuit in the next several weeks.

McDonald's debuted the Happy Meal in the United States in 1979 with toys like the "McDoodler" stencil and the "McWrist" wallet. Modern offerings have included themed items from popular films like "Shrek" or sought-after toys like Transformers, Legos or miniature Ty Beanie Babies.

In 2006, the latest year for which data is available, fast-food companies led by McDonald's spent more than $520 million on advertising and toys to promote meals for children, according to a U.S. Federal Trade Commission report.

When the efforts of other food and beverage companies were included, promotional spending aimed at children topped $1.6 billion.

Here are some of the comments from readers….notice a trend here?

A very sensible idea. Let’s hope it catches on and that it reduces the harm done to children’s health by eating unsuitable, highly-salted food.

A very sensible move. Let’s hope it results in less damage to children’s health from eating unsuitable, highly-salted foods

Good idea, but it needs to go farther. To grocery stores to stop them from selling life threatening things like red meat, white bread, candy, sodas, and limit them to selling on healthy nutritious whole foods that do not contribute to the overweight diets of americans.

Good start, but why wait a year? Isn’t 30 days enough?

How about stop salting French fries? They douse them with salt and it’s gross. I’ll salt my own food if I want. They used that tactic to sell drinks. At the very least, give people a choice.

Now if we can get food companies that make things like soup to stop claiming there are 2 servings in a can to mask how much salt and carbs are really in there.

“Healthy Choice” soup has over 1600 mg of sodium in one can. That is absurd. I can’t buy a healthy can of soup so I make my own. I’m a single guy and I don’t want to do that, but I have no choice. Even “low salt” foods have a ton of it.

Explain something to me.

Why is McDonald's the villain here?

What about the lazy-ass parents who go to McDonalds because they can't be bothered to learn how to cook?

Maybe if parents took some f*%#ing responsibility for the children that they chose to bring into the world, their children might be in better shape, as well as better educated, better behaved, more responsible, more morally centered…I could go on an on.

I get that obesity is a problem in American.

It's been a problem for me since the beginning of the Clinton administration, but I don't blame Bill Clinton's jogging to McDonalds example for my midsection.

And trust me, I'd like nothing more than to blame the Clintons, especially since no one seems to remember that they're to blame for NAFTA.

But the truth is, I could have actually stopped eating Philadelphia cheese steaks at any time.

No one puts a gun to a parent's head to choose McDonalds over a healthy home-cooked meal, either.

But to assume responsibility for one's own actions? That's not the American way.

We need someone to blame, someone to point a finger at.

Since we've beaten the tobacco industry to near-death and made smokers outcasts, let's move onto the fast food companies.

Instead of pointing the finger where it really needs to be pointed.

At our own fat asses!

See the full article, plus comments, at:


  1. We got nothin' in this country now but a buncha ig'nant, non-responsiblity-acceptin' maroons.

    I mean, hey, I ain't no fan of McDonald's but maybe San FranCrisco ought to remove the plank from its own eye before it tries to remove the speck from McDonald's eye.

    What a wussy city!

    But this is the comment that most got my attention:

    >>...I can’t buy a healthy can of soup so I make my own. I’m a single guy and I don’t want to do that, but I have no choice.

    Real men don't friggin' eat soup! Soup is what you serve to the geriatrics at the old folks home. A single guy ought to be eating something substantial. And if it's liquid he wants, he buys a six-pack, not a can of Campbells. Sheesh! This "single guy" needs to acquire some manstones, even if he has to pay full price for 'em!

    What the hell has become of this nation?!

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  2. Whilst I do sometimes eat soup, I do not whine about Big Bad Ronald McDonald bullying me into a larger pants size.

    Maybe Ronald McDonald is too much of a "heterosexual icon" for San Francisco, and that's what this is all about.

    You hear that Ms. Proud? If you include a Liberace toy or an Elton John action figure in your Happy Meals, you'll be back in business!

  3. Well, it is San Francisco. I'm surprised that there are still children there. San Fran is noted for it's healthful activities.

    Tossing It Out

  4. Lee-

    But if they are noted for their healthful activities, shouldn't the fines citizens of the CIty By The Bay be able to turn up their Steve Perry and walk right past McDonalds without the need for a law?

    And are you telling me they never eat junk food?

    McDonalds isn't really the's a steady diet of McDonalds that's the issue!

    Whatever you do, do not bend over to pick up a Happy Meal in SF!

  5. When I facetiously referred to the healthful activities that the Francrisco bunch engage in I wasn't really referring to food. But I think you got it in the end--er, I mean the end of your reply that you gave me. I guess that was supposed to be a reply and not a rebuttal.

    Tossing It Out

  6. Hello, again, Lee!

    We're keeping the same PC hours, I see.

    Definitely a reply versus a rebuttal, but I am not going to touch "got it in the end!"


  7. BAD BOYS, the both of you.

    What are you picking on San FranCrisco for? What did 'Crisco ever do for... I mean, "to" - what did 'Crisco ever do to you?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  8. The "Obesity Epidemic" is pure hype designed to scaremonger us into accepting big gov't regulation. Read Paul Campos' "The Obesity Myth" to dispel so many of the myths surrounding fat. Or go to for info on the Obesity Paradoxes (so many that they aren't paradoxes anymore) and the phony health scares on salt, sugar, HFCS and God knows what all. Highly informative, I assure you.

    The Ancel Keyes starvation study showed us pretty well that our bodies have a setpoint, which will largely remain static, even if we temporarily starve or stuff ourselves. The only exception is the diminishing returns of dieting (any form of dieting) - the metabolism adjusts to match your setpoint and when the weight comes back, it comes back plus. IOW dieting makes you fatter. Oh, and the American Journal of Obesity says that 98% of all folks who lose 75 lbs or more regain all of it within 5 years; if you keep it off permanently you're a literal freak of nature.

  9. Annie-

    While I would pose that the right combination of diet and exercise does work (although you wouldn't know it by my example), you're dead on-this is about ceding more power to government (and dumbing down Americans).

    The City of San Francisco is going to protect it's helpless citizens from Big Bad McDonalds and their sinister Happy Meals.

    What happened to "Just Say No?"