In an effort to battle the ongoing war against childhood obesity, Brooklyn assemblyman Felix Ortiz has called for legislation to ban toys from children's meals in large fast-food chains, unless they meet certain nutritional standards. If, and only if, a children's meal has fewer than 500 calories, fewer than 600 milligrams of sodium, and less than 35% of the total daily fat calorie allowance, will a toy be allowed. The meal would also need to have less than 10% of the meal's calorie content from sugars, no fake sweeteners or caffeine, and 98% less freedom of choice.
Civil fines would be handed out for all restaurants that violate the conditions, and Ortiz hopes the bill will encourage big chains to diversify their menus with healthier options. "If they can make the items more healthy, then providing the toys as a reward will be fine with me," he tells the Daily News. Because it was never the deliciously greasy, delicate, salty fries, nor the perfectly seasoned 6-piece, simultaneously crispy and tender chicken nuggets, nor those addictive, depression-inducing burgers that was the reward. No, our reward was the plastic toy.
But not everyone is on board with the bill! McDonald's spokeswoman Heather Oldani says the chain opposes the bill, but has made efforts to make Happy Meals healthier. Also opposed to meddling with the Happy Meal? Children.