San Francisco OKs Law Requiring Healthier Kids’ Meals

By, TREVOR HUNNICUTT, via The Huffington Post,

SAN FRANCISCO — For some veggies-hating children, Happy Meals won’t be so happy anymore.

San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors voted 8-3 on Tuesday to approve an ordinance that would limit toy giveaways in fast food children’s meals that have excessive calories, sodium and fat. It also requires servings of fruits or vegetables with each meal.

If it survives an expected veto from Mayor Gavin Newsom, San Francisco would become the first major city in the country to pass such a law aimed at curbing childhood obesity. It would go into effect December 2011 if supervisors again approve it after Newsom’s veto.

A similar ordinance has been approved in California’s Santa Clara County, where it affected about a dozen restaurants.

Supervisors and activists who support the measure said they hoped obesity-curbing efforts like it would eventually spread to other cities, states and the country.

“From San Francisco to New York, the epidemic of childhood obesity in this country is making people sick, making our kids sick, particularly kids from low-income neighborhoods,” said Supervisor Eric Mar, who proposed the law.

McDonald’s Corp. representatives, who say the law would take the joy out of the Happy Meal, derided the vote outside of lawmakers’ chambers at City Hall. The company also said the law threatens business and restricts parents’ ability to make choices for their children.

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