Healthy Debate: Should Happy Meal Toys Be Banned?

by in Food News, November 1, 2010

happy meal toys

Whoever came up with the marketing for Happy Meals toys is a genius. Kids are drawn to popular characters and love the trinkets even more than the food. But this type of marketing comes a with a price: a  fat- and calorie-laden meal that leaves many child obesity advocates feeling decidedly unhappy. San Francisco is proposing a ban on toys paired with unhealthy kids’ meals — should it go nationwide? Here’s our take.

The San Fran Proposal

Last week, proposed legislation that would ban toys from kids meals unless they met specific dietary requirements made its way to becoming a reality. A subcommittee recommended that San Fran’s whole board of supervisors vote on the law.  Under the proposed law, any meal with a toy would have to limit calories and add a portion of fruits and vegetables. It would apply to all restaurants, though the proposal was written with one specific fast food joint in mind.

Update: On November 2, the San Francisco board of supervisors passed the “Happy Meal Ban” with an 8-3 vote.

Consumer Watchdog Threaten Lawsuit
CSPI (The Center for Science in the Public Interest) threatened to sue the Golden Arches if they didn’t stop using toys to market their junk food to kids. CSPI gave them 30 days — that was over 3 months ago. The lawyer for the CSPI claims the lawsuit will be filed in the next week or so.

Will It Help?
So, would banning these toys make an positive impact on the road towards healthier kids? I’ve heard kids beg to go to places like McDonald’s because they want the toy, but some argue that it’s up to the parents to decide where the children should eat and not visa versa.

Bottom Line: Using toys to lure kids is a tactic that McDonald’s and other such fast food joints have perfected. Some believe that offering healthier fare could help alleviate the incidence of childhood obesity, while others blame parents for taking their kids to these joints.

TELL US: Do you think Happy Meal toys should be banned?

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. See Toby’s full bio »

Similar Posts

This Week’s Nutrition News Feed

In this week’s news: School cafeteria workers have reason to high-five; scientists make milk — minus the cow; and umami is just the beginning of an avalanche of new tastes. The Spork Set Surprises Sure, most kids roll their eyes when they hear the phrase “healthy lunch.” (Certain grown-ups, too.) But a funny thing happenedRead more

Comments (55)

  1. Mike Carmo says:

    The Silent Shard…

    This tends to possibly be really practical for many of your employment I intend to do not only with my blogging site but…

  2. Hello all, I came here for answers, Not sure where to ask this, so I will ask here. right now I use 4 tools to get this job done and I seem to be repeating the information over to the next tool for each new client. I have been searching for this tool for awhile now and have not found one that will work, please let me know if one is out there.

  3. Vitamins says:

    Entonces más amigos pueden hablar acerca de este problema

  4. My name is Jake and I have a new job working for a entrepreneur. I have to know a ton of stuff that I don’t and I figured you guys could help me. I have a friend who used to/uses this forum and hes brilliant. I will probably spend most of my time reading and not a whole lot posting, anyway that’s me thanks for allowing me to be here.

  5. Je pense à aller à l’école en ce moment et je voudrais des conseils sur wheather ou non le programme que je devrais aller en vaut la peine. Je pensais qu’un forum technique serait le meilleur endroit pour demander des conseils car je ne connais personne dans ce domaine.

  6. Lacy Edsall says:

    ive been working with windows based computers for 17 years, since i was 5 (played duke nukem 3d and i was all in lmao) and am recently trying to learn linux for various reasons. in college i am a Computer Information Systems major, and im going from there to do stuff with networking, already taken a Cisco training class a few years ago, and i plan to get pretty deep into that.

  7. Personnellement, je pense que celui-ci est le meilleur travail de votre part.

  8. Sharon Kruyt says:

    Votre Hub est vraiment précieux pour la communauté Internet

  9. Je suis litteralement tombé sous le charme de ce blog :) C’est un bon travaile d’ensemble qui a été réalisé et je suis ravi d’etre tombé sur cet article. A très bientot. Chef Tiramisu.

  10. westwingpotus says:

    It was not that the woman was unaware that coffee is served hot, it was that she was served a boiling scalding liquid that would cause deep and scarring burns in less than two seconds by a company that already KNEW its coffee was too hot for safety.

    The jury awarded her $200,000 in compensatory damages for her medical expenses and skin grafts. This amount was reduced to $160,000 because the jury found the woman 20 percent at fault in the spill. The jury also awarded her $2.7 million in punitive damages for their "reckless, callous and willful" disregard of the dangers in the temperature of the coffee they served and the fact that they were fully aware that the temperature was dangerous. (this amount, while it sounds like a lot, is actually about two days of McDonalds' coffee sales.) The trial court subsequently reduced the punitive award to $480,000.

    Having all the facts paints a little different picture.

  11. manda says:

    Maybe the real solution is to stay the heck away from McDonald's in the first place. Why not try cooking a healthy meal w/ lean proteins, fruits & veggies at home?

  12. ihave4 says:

    Love the point about college funding! lol!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>