No More Happy Meals Toys for California?

Nicole Morelli

Last Thursday San Francisco’s new Healthy Food Incentive Ordinance went into effect. This bans any restaurant from giving away toys with a children’s meal unless it contains the proper nutrients (i.e. fruits and vegetables).

This ban targets all Happy Meal-like toys and states that it is unfair to target children of such young ages because they cannot make healthy decisions for themselves. Now, only a week after the ban and McDonalds has already found a loop hole.

McDonalds now sells their Happy Meal toys for an addition 10 cents. All the proceeds they make from selling these toys goes directly to the Ronald McDonald House of Charity.

“Instead of doing the right thing, McDonald’s is avoiding limiting its marketing to kids or improving the nutritional quality of their unhealthy food by selling toys “separately” for an additional ten cents — while still requiring purchase of a Happy Meal to get the toy,” said Sara Deon, the Value Meal Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability International, to The Huffington Post. “Though McDonald’s has taken this cynical approach to sidestep the new policy, the law has already had a tremendous impact.”

For now McDonalds continues to sell their toys while most other fast food places, such as Jack in the Box, have dropped the toy all together. The one question everyone seems to be asking is, what can they really do about it?