Nanny State: NYC might ban free Happy Meal toys

Think Progress reports:

On the heels of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s (I) infamous failed attempt to ban large sodas, New York City officials are trying their hand at nutrition policy again. This time, they’ve set their sights on a more specific target: the free toys that come with high-calorie kids’ meals at fast food restaurants.

New York City Councilman Ben Kallos (D) has introduced a “Health Happy Meals” measure that would ban toys in kids’ meals that fall short of strict dietary guidelines. In order for restaurants to give away free toys with kids’ food, they’ll have to offer meals that don’t contain more than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium.

“It is difficult enough for parents to give their children healthy food without the fast food industry spending hundreds of million dollars per year advertising to children, and nearly half of that on toys,” Kallos said in a statement announcing his new bill. “If restaurants are going to incentivize children, they should incentivize them to eat healthy.”

Kallos also pointed out that an estimated one fourth of U.S. children’s meals come from restaurants or fast food places, and “those calories could be healthy calories.” Under his measure, restaurants that fail to comply with the toy ban would be fined.

A previous attempt in New York didn’t pass. Even if this were to pass, it has been noted that McDonald’s got around a similar ban in San Francisco by charging ten cents for the toys.

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton

Jeff Quinton is an award-winning blogger who has been aggregating and blogging since 1998. He has worked as a reporter, in government, and as a communications professional in Columbia, SC and Washington, DC.

Quinton is a native South Carolinian who has lived in Baltimore since 2006. He is a recent convert to the Catholic Church and is active in the Knights of Columbus. He has been involved in the pro-life movement nationally and locally since 2010.

Quinton is a veteran who served as an intelligence analyst in the Army National Guard. He is also an Eagle Scout.
Jeff Quinton