Calif. County Moves to Ban Happy Meal Toys

First-of-its-kind ban aimed at tackling child obesity

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 27, 2010 1:01 AM CDT

(Newser) – California's Santa Clara may soon be the first place in America to ban the little toys that come with McDonald's' Happy Meals and other fast-food promotions. County officials say the move—which would outlaw free toys with any meal that has over 485 calories or high levels of salt, sugar, and fat—would go a long way towards tackling child obesity, although the proposal has met fierce opposition from the restaurant industry.

"People ask why I want to take toys out of the hands of children," the president of the county's board of supervisors tells the Los Angeles Times. "But we now know that 70% of the kids that are overweight or obese will be overweight or obese as adults. Why would we want to burden anybody with a lifetime of chronic illness?"

Fast food companies spent $360 million in 2006 on the toys included with kids' meals.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
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