Toys Not Allowed in San Francisco Happy Meals

McDonald’s spends millions of dollars each year on toys to include in some of the meal packages. The restaurant chain’s goal is clearly to use very cheap plastic figures, which cost virtually nothing, to sell more hamburgers, french fries and soda to children, in order to establish a long-term relationship with new customers.

If you can get a lot of children interested in your food products at an early age, chances are they will remain customers for years, even into adulthood. From purely a business standpoint it is a winning strategy. From the perspective of children’s health and public health, it is dangerous. Children often don’t know about nutrition, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. They typically don’t know how to restrain themselves when presented with large amounts of calorie-rich food high in fat, salt and sugar.

San Francisco recently proposed to ban McDonald’s Happy Meals with toys from San Francisco, in an attempt to stop “predatory marketing.” Gavin Newsom, San Francisco’s mayor vetoed the proposal saying it isn’t the government’s responsibility to decide what foods children should eat, it is up to parents. However, his veto was overruled by San Francisco supervisors by a vote of 8 to 3, and so the ban will go into effect December 11, 2011.

Some McDonald’s meals are still allowed by the law to include toys, as long as they are lower in sodium, and calories and include one vegetable or fruit item. A similar law is in effect in Santa Clara county, which is about fifty miles south of San Francisco in the Silicon Valley area.

Related Links
McDonald’s: Stop Putting Toys in Happy Meals
Should McDonald’s and Pepsi Write Britain’s Health Policy
Pulling the Plug on Marketing Junk Food to Kids


natalie n.
natalie n5 years ago

its a good step towards healthier eating. while some may say its up to the parents, are all parents fully aware of how to eat healthily and what's good and not good? i doubt it, just take a look at the adults frequenting McDonalds on a regular basis, or the other fast food joints for that matter.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W5 years ago

Stop putting toys in 'happy' meals and advertising junk food!

Neil A.
Neil A6 years ago

This is almost unbelievable that some people think this is a bad idea, parents do not seem to have any authority over their children, no wonder there are so many obese US citizens, these food manufacturers are pure evil.

Joy Mcronald
Joy M7 years ago

Sounds stupid to me.. I also agree with Harriet J B...

Gianna M.
Gianna Macias7 years ago

Parents are in control. One way you can actually use toys with happy meals or any other kind of toys and why not designer clothers for children is to set goals to obtain these rewards. Children have a list of chores and duties, if they comply with a certain kind or amount, a certain reward is GAINED. Actually, parents act more like supervisors, if the child wants something they can go with the child and see the "chart". It is the child who will see if the reward is deserved. Rewards connected to junk or fast food could be obtained when a certain amount of good, nutritious food is ingested if not, it is the child who realizes what must be done.

Vanessa B.
Vanessa B7 years ago

I know the city had the right idea; however, it really is up to the parents to regulate their children's food. No one wants the government telling Vegan parents they have to feed their children meat, because they're not getting the "proper" nutrients.

Hate McDonald's, but I do think the city over reached on this one.

Henri P.
Henri P.7 years ago

Great thing!

Tori W.
Past Member 7 years ago

noted and sufficiently entertained...just think of all those taxpayers in San you know where your taxes are going.....sorry...but i don't think you're getting your money's worth....

Kha Bliss
Past Member 7 years ago

Next step - eliminate McDonalds all together and replace them with HEALTHY VEGGIES! Slow food rules!

Bethany M.
Bethany M7 years ago

I love this. I cannot wait for this to become a national thing. The toys are a waste of resources, if nothing else.