SANTA CLARA, CA – A popular staple of McDonald’s menu is now illegal in one county!
Happy Meals will be a little less happy in the Santa Clara County. Happy Meal toys and other promotions that come with the usually high-calorie meals will soon be banned unless local chains of the fast food powerhouse meet nutritional guidelines that were approved Tuesday by the county Board of Supervisors.
Happy Meals usually entice children to consume the unhealthful food by the addition of a toy. “This ordinance prevents restaurants from preying on children’s love of toys,” said supervisor Ken Yeager, sponsor behind the measure. “This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes.”
Santa Clara County supervisors voted 3-2 to ban the plastic “rewards” as promotions in meals with more than 485 calories. The ordinance will ban restaurants from giving away toys with meals that more than 485 calories, more than 600 milligrams of sodium, more than 35 percent of total calories from fat or more than 10 percent of calories from added sugar. It will also limit toy giveaways on single food items with more than 200 calories or more than 480 milligrams of sodium. The ordinance is believed to affect about a dozen restaurants in the area.
A poll commissioned by the California Restaurant Association showed that 87 percent of county residents apposed the bill. Supporters of the bill, however, cited studies that showed that one in four children of the county are overweight or obese. They say that the toys are magnets that attract the kids to the food.
The ordinance will take place in 90 days and is punishable by a fine of up to a $1,000. The enforcement of the bill will be up to the Board of Health.