San Francisco Board Votes to Ban Happy Meals Toys
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to ban toys from McDonald's (MCD) Happy Meals. The city's mayor vowed to veto the legislation, but may be overruled.
The ruling, which -- if it's not vetoed -- will take effect in late 2011, prohibits restaurants from giving away toys with meals that have more than 600 calories, 640 milligrams of sodium and at least 35% of its calories derived from fat. Northern California's Santa Clara County already has enacted a similar law, but San Francisco could become the first city to ban Happy Meals toys.
The city is taking on the fast-food giant in an attempt to reduce childhood obesity. Roughly one in four San Francisco Bay Area parents say they're concerned about their children's weight and health habits, according to the board's Tuesday agenda.
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said he will attempt to overturn the ruling. "We must continue to take steps to combat childhood obesity, a genuine health crisis in America, but this bill takes the wrong approach," Newsom said in a statement Tuesday. "Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money."
But Newsom may not be able to overturn the ban because it passed by an 8-3 margin, the Associated Press reported.
McDonald's representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday. If the ban is enacted, it will affect about 20 McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco, as well as other fast-food restaurants.