PDA

View Full Version : San Francisco bans Happy Meals with toys



Barbarella
11-11-2010, 05:37 PM
(CNN) - The San Francisco, California, Board of Supervisors on Tuesday banned most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys, as they're now served.

The ordinance, which requires McDonald's and other fast-food servings with toys to meet new nutritional standards, now goes to Mayor Gavin Newsom, who indicated before his election last week to California lieutenant governor that he would veto the law.

That veto would be meaningless because the board approved the ordinance 8-3, a veto-proof margin. With eight votes, the board could override the veto.

The new law, which San Francisco officials hope other cities will adopt in battling a child obesity epidemic, was a defeat for McDonald's, which led the fight against the measure.

"As previously stated, we are extremely disappointed with this decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for," said McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud.

Proud said public opinion is against such government intervention.

"Any fair and objective review of our menu and the actions we've taken will demonstrate we've added multiple options for parents to choose. This includes Apple Dippers (bagged, sliced, pre-peeled apples), low-fat one percent milk, 100 percent apple juice and Chicken McNuggets made with white meat," Proud said in a statement. "And, as we have stated all along, we are committed to doing even more."

The new law addresses how toys and other marketing freebies entice kids to buy fast-food meals that are high in fat and calories, said Supervisor Eric Mar. He initiated the proposal because his fifth-grade daughter is in the 6-to-11 age group that has seen obesity rates quadruple over the past 30 years, the same time that the Happy Meal has been on the market.
http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/10/san-francisco-bans-happy-meals-with-toys/

Thoughts?

Chalk
11-11-2010, 07:33 PM
I get the idea of getting rid of propaganda aimed at children, but they shouldn't have been so specific. Also, just banning the Happy Meal isn't going to to make it go away. If they meant business they should have done other more efficient ways of fighting child obesity like banning vending machines that sells fizzy sugar drinks in all schools.

MyNameisWarts
11-13-2010, 12:07 AM
I love the idea that a giant corporation that's pumping toxic waste into our bodies can't just run wild, conquer the planet, and do whatever they want. They should comply with the standards of the individual communities that they open in. I'm much more concerned about the rights of San Franciscans to set that standard than I am about a corporation's "right" to do as they please. Love this law.

Also, Chalk, the law doesn't specifically ban happy meals, it bans giving toys as incentives for meals that don't meet certain nutritional standards. The Happy Meal as it exists is a casualty of the law, but they are free to offer the toys with different foods and still call it a "Happy Meal."

pan
11-13-2010, 01:04 AM
I wonder if they stuck the toy with a salad and advertised it during children's programming of what the result would be...

Maeby
11-13-2010, 01:18 AM
The same could be said for sugary cereals with cartoon characters on boxes and toy surprises inside. How many times did you want a certain cereal (as a kid) because of the toy inside?

pan
11-13-2010, 01:20 AM
if they stuffed a toy in Raisin Bran, I would have forced my mom to buy it (or in that case, agreed to let her buy it for me...they fed me that crap every day growing up)

Ryan
11-13-2010, 01:27 AM
Loading kids with fast food probably isn't a great idea in the first place. I have little cousins who think they have to collect all of something when it's out. I know aunts who've driven around town to multiple McDonald's restaurants in a single day, asking if they have a certain toy in a set. It's a little ridiculous. So I don't necessarily think this is a bad idea.

Oh, and I love this Tim Minchin song, and it seems fitting. Thanks to Pete I now know this man and can spam every post with an appropriate Tim Minchin song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_ElXYzFX_w

pan
11-13-2010, 01:34 AM
^do we share a cousin by any chance. if my 4 year old cousin mentions toy story 3 just one more time.... he doesn't eat fruit or veggies and his mom (I hatez her) doesn't do a thing to change this. I just wish some company would package Buzz lightyear with a fucking apple or something.

I mean I ate carrots cause of Bugs Bunny and ate spinach because of Popeye. (thank god scooby snacks didn't actually exist) point is that it's brainwashing IMO so it should at least be something healthy.

somAiroTevoLI
11-13-2010, 05:20 AM
Do kids actually eat the food in the happy meal? My nieces and nephews just want the toy, eat a few fries and that's it. If anything it's healthier w/ the toy because they are too preoccupied playing and not eating. And then they always spend 30+ mins on the playscape burning those calories anyways.

Cairn
11-13-2010, 08:20 AM
if they stuffed a toy in Raisin Bran, I would have forced my mom to buy it (or in that case, agreed to let her buy it for me...they fed me that crap every day growing up)

I'm not sure exactly how long ago it was, quite a while at any rate, but someone did a study offering children two portions of carrots. Everything about the carrots was the same except that one of the portions was presented in a McDonald's wrapper. A disturbingly high percentage of the children surveyed claimed the carrots in the McDonald's wrapper tasted better. No children thought the unwrapped carrots tasted better. There were a few children who could not decipher a taste difference at all.

The scariest thing about this to me is that, for the most part, as a society, I don't believe we are affected by marketing any less as we get older.

EnjoyJoy
11-13-2010, 12:21 PM
I don't know, growing up, I loved the happy meal toys. And my mom had a rule that we could only get fast food once per weekend. My brothers and I never managed to complete a set though.

pan
11-13-2010, 01:59 PM
I don't believe we are affected by marketing any less as we get older.

I know I bought that pomegranate juice because of those hot (cheesy) commercials. :)

Lágnætti
11-13-2010, 02:24 PM
I don't see the issue. If parents want to fill their kids with crap, bland food with zero nutritional value, they still can still purchase it at the same restuarants. They just won't have the kid begging for that particular food simply because of the piece of cheap, colourful plastic tat attached to it. Mind you, a few parents out there could clearly use a lesson in saying no to their kids. When I was a kid, if I asked for some crap in a box and my mum said no, that was that. I accepted it and moved on. No harm done. These stories about parents being such pathetic doormats to the whims of small children are just depressing.

I'd love it if adding toys to food for sales purposes were banned altogether simply because of the waste of natural resources involved. The sheer amount of oil and energy used to manufacture these pieces of plastic crap which then end up in landfills or clogging up the ocean is fucking disgusting. Anyone who has seen any footage of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch should understand what I mean.

pan
11-13-2010, 02:29 PM
when I was kid I remember they offered certain items at the counter (baby plush muppets for X-mas) and you could just eat whatever you wanted. I liked chicken fajitas and apple pie when I was little and those weren't happy meal offerings.

Hypatia
11-14-2010, 07:28 AM
Now what is my 3 year-old going to choke on?

Kari
11-14-2010, 02:48 PM
I'd love it if adding toys to food for sales purposes were banned altogether simply because of the waste of natural resources involved. The sheer amount of oil and energy used to manufacture these pieces of plastic crap which then end up in landfills or clogging up the ocean is fucking disgusting. Anyone who has seen any footage of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch should understand what I mean.

I just googled that and went into a half hour YouTube vortex I wish I could unsee. :( I knew it existed but had NO IDEA how big it was. Unreal.

Medusa
11-14-2010, 07:49 PM
It's a tough call, really: the amount of waste generated by those toys is unbelievable, and the nutritional content alone is so abysmal that it's disgusting. Marketing to children in that way is unsettling as well.

But I'm not yet sure how comfortable I am with legislation prohibiting incentives in that way. That aspect is what makes me uncomfortable; though really, do you get them to change otherwise? Not really.

Banjee
11-15-2010, 10:27 AM
Mind you, a few parents out there could clearly use a lesson in saying no to their kids. When I was a kid, if I asked for some crap in a box and my mum said no, that was that. I accepted it and moved on. No harm done. These stories about parents being such pathetic doormats to the whims of small children are just depressing.

THIS! I don't know if it's an American narrative or a Western Society narrative, but this generation of kids is growing up and dominating the parent. It seems as if parents are worried that the might psychologically scar their child or something if they say no. I see this in the classroom all.the.time. Students with failing grades and parents a) don't offer any repercussions and b) blame us not the child. I see kids that get failing grades go to school with the latest fashions, accessories, iPods, phones and phone plans. I don't get it. Children are just not being disciplined anymore.

other pete
11-15-2010, 12:54 PM
You're right Loca and it's not just America. Parents seem to be under so much pressure to be their kids' best friend, to always tell them to "follow their dream" (be it for a lardburger or the X Factor), it must be horrible trying to balance that with reality, and so many don't.

I wonder whether here in Europe it goes back to the 1940s/50s food rationing - those of us whose grandparents could only have X ounces of butter per week are still getting hit by a tide of rebellion that's rebounded down the generations? Maybe that's overthinking it. Fatty shitty foods are cheap.

This BBC documentary tonight on Denmark's introduction of a Fat Tax (http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/front_page/newsid_9176000/9176897.stm) looks interesting (they're fat in foods, not people, to be clear) and seems far more sensible than banning specific promotional gimmicks.

Barbarella
11-15-2010, 01:29 PM
American's would lose their freaking minds if fatty foods were taxed. It would be the tea party x a gazillion!
Personally, I'm all for it. Tax the hell out of it. We need some way to pay for all the healthcare issues it causes.

beKa
11-15-2010, 02:21 PM
Kids are so brainwashed these days by the media! My sister was just telling me how Walmart so wisely sent their holiday flyer out already, and my niece saw it and spotted a dozen toys she WANTS.

I also saw a car commercial for the Toyta Highlander that was a prime example. It shows a kid in his car, sitting in the backseat, while his parents sing along loudly to the music on the radio. The Toyota Highlander pulls up, with a kid in the backseat. Kid #1 says "HELP ME!" to the kid in the Highlander, who puts on headphones and says, "YOU need a toyota highlander!" or something to that effect. Nice! Now your kid is going to be screaming at you to buy them a certain type of car.

Barbarella
11-15-2010, 02:26 PM
Oh yeah, we got that Walmart toy flyer weeks ago! It went right into the recycle bin.

SweetPea
11-15-2010, 08:02 PM
I also saw a car commercial for the Toyta Highlander that was a prime example. It shows a kid in his car, sitting in the backseat, while his parents sing along loudly to the music on the radio. The Toyota Highlander pulls up, with a kid in the backseat. Kid #1 says "HELP ME!" to the kid in the Highlander, who puts on headphones and says, "YOU need a toyota highlander!" or something to that effect. Nice! Now your kid is going to be screaming at you to buy them a certain type of car.

This commercial makes me rage! "Just because you're a parent doesn't mean you have to be lame." Excuse me, WHAT?! I'm not even a parent and I want to smack that little brat upside his head. Just because you're a goddamn kid doesn't mean you need to be entertained 24/7... seriously, if you can't occupy yourself with imagination or just ride in the damn car and keep your mouth shut for 20 minutes, there is a bigger problem.

When I was a kid we would take long roadtrips in my Mom's 89 Volkswagen van, with no tv, no dvds... just us, sometimes a walkman, and road games. (road sign bingo anyone?) Kids today are spoiled brats.

/rant

Medusa
11-15-2010, 08:20 PM
American's would lose their freaking minds if fatty foods were taxed. It would be the tea party x a gazillion!
Personally, I'm all for it. Tax the hell out of it. We need some way to pay for all the healthcare issues it causes.
I'm all for it too. And I say that knowing I eat a lot of bad food, too. But if we want to have universal healthcare, we need to up our tax chip-in anyway.

Though actually, before taxing the consumer I'd like to see them raise taxes on businesses peddling this stuff. The hue and cry will be that it quashes small business, but I imagine there's a way to target more specifically the larger businesses that do this.

SMMY
11-15-2010, 08:30 PM
Or promote tax cuts for local farmers/growers. Maybe even a tax credit/s if you or your community have a garden.

Medusa
11-15-2010, 08:36 PM
LOVE that. Reward the people who do it right.
The thing that I love about being in SF is just how easy it is for me to get really good fresh vegetables for pretty much nothing. If I go to the market with $10 in my pocket, I can come back with a ton of food.

Where I grew up- SD- it's landlocked and they're shipping stuff in, so it's much more expensive and the cost for fresh veggies becomes prohibitive for parents, which makes it easier for people to drive through mcdonald's when they only have a bit for their dinner budget.

There has to be some way of providing incentive to local growers to put up more than just corn to be sent through to refineries. Unfortunately, that's a really dramatic change that will have to happen...but starting by rewarding local growers or rewarding restaurants that attempt to buy locally or even try their hand at their own garden would be cool. Even a McGarden has to be better than what we have now.

Barbarella
11-15-2010, 10:09 PM
SMMY 2012!!!

MTC
11-15-2010, 10:18 PM
American's would lose their freaking minds if fatty foods were taxed. It would be the tea party x a gazillion!
Personally, I'm all for it. Tax the hell out of it. We need some way to pay for all the healthcare issues it causes.

Oh like this ad?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQMJJAaY-3g&feature=related

Stay out of my grocery cart evil government! *rolls eyes*

other pete
11-15-2010, 10:46 PM
Ahahah - "We all wanna improve health care, but taxes never made anyone healthy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zmDwMNaTzA&feature=player_embedded)"

They have a logic confuse :/

MTC
11-15-2010, 11:08 PM
I guess the family in the video is doing more with less. It appears they are living in a tent and living off the land!