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No More Happy Meals in San Francisco, California

Do your children love hitting McDonald’s for their weekly Happy Meal, adding to their collection of toys and collectibles? If you live in San Francisco, this popular activity is no longer an option. After weeks of debating the topic, the San Francisco board of directors has taken steps to ban the sale of toys with fast food kids’ meals.

From the Chicago Tribune:

“Under the ordinance, scheduled to take effect in December 2011, restaurants may include a toy with a meal if the food and drink combined contain fewer than 600 calories, and if less than 35 percent of the calories come from fat….

The ordinance also would require restaurants to provide fruits and vegetables with all meals for children that come with toys.”

By using these guidelines, the typical McDonald’s Happy Meal, consisting of a cheeseburger, small fries and small soda, would be included in this directive, as it contains 590 calories, with 210 of those calories coming from fat. The 6 piece McNugget meal would be similarly affected, as the meal contains 620  calories, with 260 of them coming from fat. Many of the meals, such as the Mighty Kids meals (larger child-focused meals sold with double cheeseburgers or extra nuggets) would be disqualified even if the fries were substituted with the apples option listed on the menu.

An unnamed representative for McDonald’s was quoted as saying, “We are extremely disappointed with today’s decision. It’s not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for…. Public opinion continues to be overwhelmingly against this misguided legislation… Parents tell us it’s their right and responsibility — not the government’s — to make their own decisions and to choose what’s right for their children.”


Read also:

Health Buzz: Why McDonald’s Won’t Rot and More

Chicken Nuggets: Made From Pink Goo

The McRib Sandwich is Back at McDonald’s

November 3rd, 2010

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(Page 1 of 1, 10 total comments)


I'm not a big fan of government controls but it is obvious that somebody has to step in and try to wake the people of America up. I can't believe how fat kids are these days. Actually I can't believe how fat we all are. Everytime we drive by Mc ds my kids go nuts and want those Happy Meals. I think we will see warning labels on coke and pepsi in the future. Warning against diabetes.

posted Nov 16th, 2010 4:14 pm


It is the parents fault if they do not monitor what children eat. A happy meal once a week ( if the others days the children eat healthy) is not a big deal. The government is tak,ing to much control. People have to stop blaming others and blame their self. I was a chubby kid and my parents watched what i ate. I got MC Ds once or twice month. My poarents were parents, so the blame is parents and the gov should stay out of it

posted Nov 12th, 2010 5:52 pm


What I dont get is if the government can dictate what McD's can sell how long before they dictate what you can buy at the grocery store. When will the ban come saying you cant buy cookies because they are unhealthy, or you can only buy fat free milk? Where will this stop? Benjamin Franklin said those who give up freedom for safety desreve nether, well its McD's free right to sell food and give ppl a toy with it if they want to as well.

posted Nov 5th, 2010 6:32 am


They haven't removed the food from the menu. You can order a single cheeseburger, a small fry and a small soda outside of a bundled meal. So it doesn't come with a toy? This meal is cheaper, more earth-friendly (less packaging) and odds are your kids have hundreds of these little toys already. I don't mind this. I'm actually OK with it. We've proven, as a whole, that we can't exercise portion control, or dietary control for that matter. More parents than not don't use this as an occasional treat and instead the mainstay in their child's diet, and that is creating the youngest generation of obese and diabetic individuals our country has ever seen. Fault lies in the arms of both the restaurants and food manufacturers who are churning out crap food when there are clearly healthier options available that they could just as easily serve. Fault also lies in the parents arms, not all of them, but the ones who don't teach their children about nutrition, moderation, treats versus the usual, etc. If we can't get our weight and health under control, the government is going to step in and help us do it. Part of me says let us be, the other part feels like we've already proven we can't handle that responsibility. It's up to each of us to demand our food supply be cleaner, more nutritious and more wholesome, and while those foods aren't as readily available, it's up to us to go out of our way to ensure those are the foods we're eating. Have I eaten at a fast food restaurant? yes. Recently? yes. Do I know full well what I'm eating when I'm eating it? yes. Do I do it every day? Absolutely not. And I don't even do it once a week. The rest of the time I take on the responsibility of preparing three meals a day at home. Will my daughter eat a Happy Meal? Odds are no, unless it's a very rare occasion with no other option available to us. There are thousands of ways to treat our children that doesn't involve 1/3 a day's calories and more fat than their little bodies can handle.

posted Nov 4th, 2010 1:45 pm


Thanks for posting this. I was appalled when I heard this story yesterday. I am an adult with a healthy BMI, and I occasionally buy myself a Happy Meal at McDonald's or a kid's meal at Chick-Fil-A, because frankly, the food tastes good and it's convenient. They are actually a great way for adults to practice portion control, since they fill you up without giving you such large portions. And are kid's meals really so bad compared to all the other options out there? What about the other food offered by fast food places? The aisles and aisles of processed food at grocery stores? The chain restaurants with 2,000 calorie entrees?

While I agree that parents feeding their kids junk food all the time is a big issue, I also think parents teaching their kids that they have to eat healthy 100 percent of the time is also a big issue. Giving people a guilt trip because they eat something unhealthy once in awhile only serves to encourage disordered eating patterns and unhealthy attitudes towards food. By the way, while I know the food isn't healthy, 620 calories is really pretty reasonable for a meal, particularly for an adult. I'm pretty active, and I need about 1,700 a day to maintain my weight.

posted Nov 4th, 2010 1:15 pm

workout mommy

I am one of the few that thinks this is a good idea. Too many people do NOT make smart choices for their children and this will hopefully push them to do so. It's one thing to make this choice as an adult, but when we constantly feed this crap to our kids, they grow up thinking it's okay. I am all for banning both the food and the toy!

posted Nov 4th, 2010 12:37 pm


I think this is great. Listen no one is telling you that you can't give your child a happy meal. They are simply taking away a part of that meal that makes kids want their food. Some parents don't care what is put in their body, very well care what their children put in their body. And if this is a monthly, or yearly treat bring them for frozen yogurt afterward or something. This is just simply incentive for children throwing a toy in a mainly trans fat, high calorie, meal with no nutrition added to it. I can certainly understand as a treat every once and awhile, but some people do it weekly and or daily. Obesity is at a all-time high, we need to find healthier "treats" for ourselves and children.

posted Nov 4th, 2010 8:55 am

Headless Mom

I agree with Kelly. NO ONE should tell me how or what to feed my kids. How do they know that it's not our once a (month, year, whatever,) treat for a special day? I know how to say no to my kids. Apparently some people in the government don't think that I do.

posted Nov 4th, 2010 5:14 am


Wow! I wonder if other cities will follow in suit?

posted Nov 3rd, 2010 10:08 pm

Kelly Turner

Give me a break. Our food may kill people but it's your fault you eat it. That may have flown 20 years ago when obesity wasn't an epidemic, but it is now, so it's up to EVERYONE to do something about it

posted Nov 3rd, 2010 10:07 pm


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