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Unhappy Meals

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010 at 3:24 pm in Health & Safety.

Happy meals (Lexington Herald-Leader illustr)There will be no more cartoon figurines, roly cars and playful gizmos in unhealthy happy meals. San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors just passed a ban on free toys in fast food kids’ meals that have too many calories, sodium or fat. And it was passed  on the first read, by an 8-3 majority, which renders the vote, we’re told, veto-proof. The ban begins Dec. 1, 2011. Santa Clara County’ enacted a similar ban last spring.

So, how many happy meals does this render unhappy? More than a billion kiddie meals are sold every year. Not all of them are dietary land mines, but … OK, yeah, most of them are. You want fries with that?

The ban affects kiddie meals that top out at more than 600 calories, or have more than 640 mg sodium, or get more than 35% of their calories from fat (exceptions are made for peanut butter, eggs and reduced-fat cheese). (You can read the full edited text here.)  The news came in moments ago from Corporate Accountability International, a grassroots watchdog organization and one of the bill’s supporters.

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