New York Eyes Possible Happy Meals Ban, Spike in Temper Tantrums


Ronald McDonald may be returning to the airwaves, but a New York City Council member is determined to keep the clown from making his way into children’s digestive tracts.

Chicago Breaking Business reports that Queens Councilman Leroy Comrie held a press conference earlier today to announce his proposed legislation that “would make it illegal to distribute toys, games, trading cards or admission tickets along with any meal for children unless it has less than 500 calories, 600 milligrams of sodium and 35 percent of calories from fat, excluding nuts, seeds and nut butters.”

Loosely translated, this means:

— white meat chicken nuggets, skim milk, apple dippers = toy
— fries, double cheeseburger, soda = no toy, plus tantrum

Comrie’s legislation, which he will introduce to City Council tomorrow, takes a page from San Francisco, which banned most Happy Meals with toys last November. That ban was subsequently overturned by San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who said that the ban inserted the government too far into parental decision making, and also made the city an even greater target for satire than it already is.* But given Mayor Bloomberg’s feelings about french fries, such legislation may have more luck here.

*However, as the folks at Corporate Accountability International have helpfully reminded us, San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors ultimately had enough votes to override Mayor Newsom’s veto, and the ban is now law.

This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 5, 2011


Archive Highlights