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The possible ban on toys in Happy Meals in the city of San Francisco is headed for a vote by the full Board of Supervisors. A committee has recommended that the Board vote on legislation that proposes to ban the toys in the iconic meal from McDonald's and other fast food restaurants unless the sugar, sodium and fat amounts in the meals are limited and the meals include at least one half cup of fruits and of vegetables.
The Board is seeking to put the brakes on the rising rates of childhood obesity reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Some pediatricians have gone on record in favor of the Happy Meal ban, stating they see kids in their waiting rooms, sodas and McNuggets in hand.
However, even if the proposed law receives the support of the city supervisors, Mayor Gavin Newsom is already on record saying he will veto the Happy Meal ban. According to an earlier report by the Chronicle, Mayor Newsom has a record of trying to promote healthy eating habits. However, when dealing with proposed legislation such as an added tax on alcohol or a fee on big-box stores for soda sales, Newsom has come down on the side of business.
"It's one thing to educate people and make sure they have healthy choices, but this is over the line," mayoral spokesman Tony Winnicker told the Chronicle in September. "What's next - Tony the Tiger, boxes of Cracker Jacks?"
There have been lawsuits and many proposed laws in various areas of the country as officials walk the line between complaints of "nanny state" regulations and the growing health problems found in children.
The proposed San Francisco law is similar to that already passed by Santa Clara County, California. The San Francisco City and County version is due for a vote on October 19.