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San Fransisco Passes Ban on Fast Food Toys

The Board of Supervisors in San Fransisco has passed legislation forbidding toys to be packaged with fast food meals high in fat, calories and/or sodium content.  Deceptively called “The Happy Meal Ban”, this measure wants to remove the extra incentive  provided by the crappy toys that come with kids’ meals.

Reactions are somewhat mixed, with some claiming the SF Board of Supervisors are overstepping their bounds by legislating heath and about an equal number of people heralding the ban as a smart move towards instilling healthier habits in kids.   Personally, I’m in favor of the ban not so much for health reasons, but to reduce the opportunities of the companies who often tie kids’ meals toys into marketing plans shilling to kids.

Source: SF Weekly Blog

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By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

3 replies on “San Fransisco Passes Ban on Fast Food Toys”

I can sort of agree with this. I don’t have kids of my own, but I managed a group home for 7-9 year old boys early in my career. We’d do a McDonalds trip every few weeks. We had an entire toybox filled with happy meal toys they never played with past the first day. I can see how parents would be upset at the city trying to influence how they parent, but I think fewer happy meal toys in the world isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

So basically, SF is saying it does not trust parents to say NO to their kids when it comes to food and what they eat. Considering most Happy Meals are probably sold to kids under 8 or 9 (yes, I know the age is 12 and under, but still…) if we as parents can’t tell them NO when they’re 5 then how in the world do we expect them to be responsible teens or especially adults?!? I actually feel a little bad for McDonalds in this case.

This is interesting to me, probably because I’m guilty of feeding my kids crap. We don’t have cable, so we don’t know what toy is going to come with the meal. But here’s the thing, when we are on the road and the only restaurant with a drive thru happens to sell fried fat in all forms, that’s what we’re buying. When it’s a rainy Tuesday single-parent kind of night, we’re heading to the nearest playland to eat crap and run around. The key is moderation — the once a month (or less) fast food meal isn’t going to kill my kids, and it might just save my sanity.

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