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Unhappy Meals

The Happy Meal–and other fatty and salty meals marketed to kids—may soon be an Unhappy Meal if a member of the City Council of New York gets his way, or these meals don’t shape up!  Mr. Leroy Comrie, Jr wants toys to be banned from Happy Meals and other fast-food meals marketed to kids that do not meet healthful criteria. Here is the article from the New York Times about it.

Mr. Comrie’s bill would restrict toys to meals that contain the following criteria:

  • Fewer than 500 calories
  • Less than 600 mg sodium
  • Less than 35% of calories (exceptions for nuts and nut butters)
  • Must contain ½ cup fruit or vegetable or one serving of whole grain.

This plan resembles a measure that was adopted in San Francisco last year, despite serious lobbying efforts by the fast-food industry. New York’s proposal is stricter than San Francisco’s plan which called for meals to have fewer than 600 calories and 640 mg sodium.

Great idea. It is time to sell more healthful meals to kids!  And, I know first hand that kids love meals that come with toys. When my niece was barely 5 years old, she wanted to go to McDonald’s just to get the Betty Spaghetti toy. Of course, if you eat fast-food on a regular basis, you will never look like Betty Spaghetti…Let’s hope the City Council approves this bill.

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