San Francisco Toy Ban Targets Childhood Obesity

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – A proposal before the Board of Supervisors to fight childhood obesity could take the “happy” out of fast food meals for kids.

Restaurants would be prohibited from handing out toys along with meals deemed high in calories, sugar, salt or fat. The legislation crafted by Supervisor Eric Mar is similar to a law adopted earlier this year by Santa Clara County.

“It’s not a toy ban. It’s an effort to create healthier choices for kids and families,” Mar said.

KCBS Barbara Taylor Reporting:

The Centers for Disease Control estimates 17 percent of Americans ages 2 – 19 years old are overweight. McDonald’s dietician Bonnie Mondungo said fast food chains have become easy targets for a problem with many contributing factors.

“As a society we have hooked onto icons that we consider to be unhealthy. The nutritional science doesn’t really bear that out,” she said.

She and other opponents of the measure said parents concerned about their children’s health simply need to be more proactive about what their children eat.

Ten of the 19 McDonald’s franchises in San Francisco are owned by Scott Rodrick, who said turning a profit is already hard enough without the legislation.

“The city hall folks should be thinking about ways to help businesses become more prosperous, not ways to erode an already tentative bottom line,” he said.

A hearing on the proposed ban has been scheduled for Monday.

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