Lawmakers want to ban happy meal toys to curb obesity in California

The ink hasn’t even dried on the new trillion-dollar entitlement health care bill and already lawmakers are gearing up with new legislation to curb societies ills. One lawmaker in California is moving to have toys banned in fast food happy meals.

The proposed law comes from Santa Clara Board of Supervisor, Ken Yeager. “Fast food restaurants spend hundreds of millions of dollars per year to tempt children into eating unhealthy,” he said.

Yeager points to the one in three children in California who are obese as the reason to regulate restaurants and hopefully guide parents to make better decisions about nutritious meals for kids.

“We’re finding out more and more that if you’re obese as a child, you’re going to have health problems your entire life,” said Yeager. “Ten out of 12 meals that are associated with the promotional toys are the high-caloric, high-fat and high-sodium meals.”

In other words, we know what’s best for your children. Because one third of children in California are pudgy, two-thirds will have to pay the price, according to Yeager. Most parents choose fast food because it’s a treat or cheaper and the toy is just a bonus, says Maggie Thompson a parent of two children.

Supervisor Yeager says his public health ordinance banning fast-food toy incentives may draw a challenge from the California Restaurant Association, but that it would legally fall under the health and safety codes.

However, Jot Condie, the CEO of the California Restaurant Association says this new proposed ban on toys is overreaching. “When the state is operating in the red are they really going to take on another legal challenge? This is ultimately a parent’s decision.”

If this legislation passes, it would be the first time in the nation that lawmakers regulate how restaurants package meals geared toward children. The Santa Clara board will vote on the ordinance next month.

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