SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) — An effort to force fast-food restaurants to make the meals they market to children healthier passed a San Francisco Board of Supervisors committee Monday.

The legislation, sponsored by Supervisor Eric Mar, is expected to be considered by the full board on Oct. 19.

Mar’s ordinance would require that, in order to be sold with toys or other items targeted at youth, meals such as the McDonald’s Happy Meal include fruits or vegetables and not have excessive calories, sodium, fat and sugar.

The debate has played out in the public as a question of personal and parental responsibility versus corporate accountability and children’s health.

Fast food industry representatives have assailed the measure, claiming the industry has taken steps toward making their meals healthier. They have said the energy focused on the issue would be better spent on education initiatives.

Corporate watchdogs, parents and physicians have said the industry’s massive marketing budgets have made the efforts of parents and teachers much more difficult, particularly in low-income and minority communities.

At Monday’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee meeting, Mar called his measure “a modest step forward” to address “an obesity epidemic in San Francisco and throughout this country.”

“It’s not just about education, it’s about creating more equitable and healthier food environments,” Mar said.

Though the board committee approved the legislation today, Mar will need the support of at least eight supervisors in order to overturn a possible mayoral veto.

Mayor Gavin Newsom is concerned about “dictating how a private restaurant wants to market its food, some of which includes healthy choices already,” Newsom spokesman Tony Winnicker said.

(© CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Bay City News contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. Dani says:

    This is all because of Idiocracy!! Protecting the stupid people from harming themselves! McDonald’s has offered healthier alternatives for their Happy Meals. It’s sad that the society we live in today feels compelled to do this because the parents are making the wrong decisions. Punish the parent, not the child. What happened to all things in moderation?

  2. Chet says:

    The last time I checked, toy’s were not edible.

  3. Justin G says:

    These toys are only being banned because these parents are too LAZY and IRRESPONSIBLE to monitor what their own children eat and educating them on what is healthy and what is not. They can’t do it themselves so they need someone else to do it for them, and it comes at the expense of parents and their kids who actually WANT a toy with their meal.

    Seriously, it’s as easy as saying NO to your kids. You don’t need go running around trying to pass a ban and ruin it for everyone.

  4. CC says:

    MC D’s and other places like it would go out of business if we all ate healthy.
    Can the parent live without their coffee? I doubt it… so MC D’s has no worries.

  5. Donna T says:

    I think its a great idea. I been eating McD’s a long time and not until that last two years have I noticed that when I order a kids meal which I do or should I say did until recently. The kids meals are sub-standard compared to the other i”adult” items on the menu…..The burgers are like rubber, the nuggets are dry and barely luke warm and lets not talk about the HEALTHY apples! This is not only in the state I live in its in several other states I have traveled to. I say ban it McD’s is not doing any good for the kids.

  6. childwholikestoyonly says:

    when I take my child to mcdonalds I’ve noticed that she doesn’t even eat the food, she just plays with the toy. She will eat the apples and drink the milk but the hamburger or nuggets usually go uneaten. She’ll tell you the food is gross but the toy is great!

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