Un-Happy Meals: NY Looks to Ban Toys with "Unhealthy" Meals

April 6, 2011
Sean Johnson

NY Councilman Leroy Comrie is looking to introduce legislation that would ban toys from being included in "unhealthy" meals at fast food restaurants.

Fast food marketing technique are under fire in New York today as Councilman Leroy Comrie has announced that he is looking to introduce legislation that would ban toys from being included in “unhealthy” meals at fast food restaurants.

What’s “unhealthy,” you ask? Well, according to the proposed bill, fast food chains would be prohibited from “distributing toys or other knickknacks geared toward children in meals that have more than 500 calories, 600 milligrams of sodium and 35 percent of calories from fat, excluding nuts, seeds and nut butters.”

The typical types of “happy meals” available at fast food chains like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Kentucky Fried Chicken would all be in violation of this bill if it were approved. This move is not unprecedented; the New York Post reports that San Francisco enacted a similar bill last year, banning children’s toys in unhealthy meals.

This is another example of New York legislators being proactive about the health of children; earlier this year, the New York City Council voted in favor of banning smoking in parks and on beaches, stating that the motivation behind the ban was to protect children from secondhand smoke.

Some people question whether or not lawmakers are going too far and infringing upon the personal rights of people. Do you believe that these sorts of bans are appropriate and perhaps lead to healthier habits for those involved or is it an example of “Big Brother” overstepping the boundaries? Let us know what you think!