According to the NY Times, a member of the City Council has proposed a similar ban for New York City. However, the New York proposal is even a little bit stricter than the SF standards.
NYC’s Proposed Guidelines for Kid Meals With Toys
- Contain fewer than 500 calories
- Provide less than 600 mg sodium
- No more than 35% of calories from fat (except when the fat is from nuts or seeds)
- Half a cup of either fruit or veggies
- A serving of whole grains
San Francisco’s Guidelines for Kid Meals with Toys
- Less than 600 calories
- Less than 640 milligram sodium
- Less than 35 percent of calories from fat; Less than 10 percent from saturated fat (with exception for nuts, seeds, eggs or low-fat cheese)
- At least half a cup of fruit or three-quarters cup of veggies
Critics call these bans anti-American, but to be clear, Happy Meals are still available everywhere and probably always will be. The rules only stop McDonald’s or any other fast food chain from marketing unhealthy meals intended for kids with must-have toys.
I’d love to see McDonald’s tweak their standard Happy Meals so they meet these very generous guidelines. Even if the meals meet the proposed NYC or SF guidelines, they would not be nutritional all-stars, but they’d be better.
Numerous studies show that the more meals we eat out, the fatter we become. Fast food meals can put kids on the fast track to fat.
[sws_blockquote_transparent align=”left” source=”Dietary Guidelines Advisory Report” quotestyle=”sws_transparent02″]Children and adults who eat fast food are at increased risk of weight gain, overweight and obesity. The strongest relationship between fast food and obesity is when one or more fast-food meals are consumed per week. [/sws_blockquote_transparent]