Yesterday we reported that the NYC Health Department banned fried food from work meals. Now, the city's healthy food crusade could soon claim its next victim: Happy Meals.
Councilman Leroy Comrie -- who is an admittedly large man -- is expected to introduce legislation today that would essentially eliminate the fast food staple and others like it. And if restaurants don't comply, the penalty could be stiff -- up to $2,500:
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.
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.
The ban wouldn't be new -- San Francisco has already outlawed the tiny meals.
McDonald's responded to Comrie's proposal by saying its Happy Meals allow families choice, and that food decisions should be left up to customers, not politicians:
“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.”
"There is, of course, no evidence that any of these regulations changes the way Americans eat," Julie Gunlock writes over at NRO. "But this hasn’t stopped Comrie’s campaign against toys — which he calls 'predatory marketing techniques.'"
"I guess it’s going to take some outraged parents to finally call off the food police."