NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — San Francisco’s already done it, and now New York may follow suit. New York City Councilman Leroy Comrie thinks the city should consider a ban on “Happy Meals” and similar fast food promotions aimed at kids unless those meals meet certain nutritional standards.
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Comrie has fought the battle of the bulge himself.
“As you know, and I’m an example, nearly one-third of all children in New York City and throughout the United States are either overweight or obese,” Comrie said.
Comrie planned to introduce his own bill Wednesday that would essentially rewrite what could currently be considered a “Happy Meal.” The bill would require establishments that offer toys with food make sure the meals are 500 calories or less and have low fat and low sodium totals.
Penalties would be steep: between $200 to $2,500 for repeat restaurant offenders who use toys to sell unhealthy meals.READ MORE: Children Embrace The Lessons Of Dr. Martin Luther King: 'A Very Special Man Who Wanted To Change The World'
Comrie said fast food restaurants know exactly what they’re doing.
“It comes as no surprise that these ads and meals are also targeted in low income and minority neighborhoods that are already at risk for childhood obesity. These are the same communities that have limited access to supermarkets, limited access to healthy food options,” Comrie said.
In a statement, Mason Smoot, vice president and general manager for McDonald’s in the New York Metro Area said, “Our Happy Meals make it easier for families to choose the right foods in portions just for kids. We provide options for our customers and trust them to make the decisions that are right for their families. Politicians should too.”
Do you side with Councilman Comrie? Should Happy Meals be banned? Let us know below…MORE NEWS: Experts Say 'Blue Monday' Is A Good Reminder To Reach Out To Those Who May Be In Need Of Emotional Support