Fast Feeders Face Toy Ban in Santa Clara
Millions of kids in America have grown up expecting to get toys with their burgers and fries, but that may prove to be a thing of the past if California’s Santa Clara County passes a ban on promotions that pair giveaways with foods that are of questionable nutritional value.
The proposed Santa Clara ordinance specifically targets foods high in calories and sodium content. Restaurants would not be able to give away toys with meals above 485 calories and 600 mg of sodium.
The California Restaurant Association (CRA) has been actively seeking to quash the measure, which is scheduled for a final vote on May 11. The group sees national implications for the proposed measure.
“It sets a tone. It could have a domino affect,” Amalia Chamorro, the CRA’s director of local government affairs, told Nation’s Restaurant News.
McDonald’s, as would be expected, is against a ban. Walt Riker, a spokesperson for the chain, said in a statement. “Parents tell us they want to have the right to make their own decisions. Our customers are smart, and they will continue to make choices that are right for them.”
Many public health experts are siding with the county government on the measure.
“Food should be fun, but we have to make health the incentive rather than the toy,” said Christine Gerbstadt, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, told AdAge.com.
“This ordinance levels the playing field,” said Ken Yeager, president of Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors, in a statement. “It helps parents make the choices they want for their children without toys and other freebies luring them toward food that fails to meet basic nutritional standards.”
Discussion Questions: Will an ordinance banning toy giveaways with foods that are high in calories and sodium lead parents to make healthier choices for their kids? Would passage of a ban in Santa Clara County have a domino effect across the nation?
- Toy ban at restaurants passed in Santa Clara – Nation’s Restaurant News
- Calif. County May Ask Kids to Choose Between Fries and Toys – AdAge.com