NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Following in the footsteps of a measure adopted in San Francisco last year, a New York City councilman has proposed that free toys be banned from fast-food meals intended to appeal to children unless the meals meet certain healthfulness guidelines -- and TheStreet readers think the measure is a terrible idea.
City Council member Leroy G. Comrie Jr. said kids' meals, such as those offered in McDonald's (MCD) famed Happy Meals and at fast-food chains such as Wendy's Arby's (WEN), Sonic (SONC), Yum! Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell and Burger King, among others, need reduced amounts of fat, salt and sugar if toys are to be included.
He introduced the bill to City Council on April 6, arguing that toys only be offered in kids' meals that contain fewer than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium. Less than 35% of the calories may come from fat, he said, save for the inclusion of nuts, seeds, peanut butter or other nut-based butters. The meal would also have to include a half cup of fruit or vegetables, or a serving of whole-grain products.
TheStreet asked readers to weigh in on whether the ban was a good idea -- that anything to help fight the battle of childhood obesity is a step in the right direction -- or a bad one -- that banning toys from kids' meals will not do anything to promote healthy eating habits in children. Voters overwhelmingly agreed it was an awful proposal.A whopping 92.3% of the 194 voters though the bill a bad idea, while just 7.7%, or 15 voters, thought it could help fight childhood obesity. The city of San Francisco's board of supervisors voted for a similar proposal in November; Santa Clara, Calif. enacted comparable legislation earlier last year. Comrie's proposal has stricter health guidelines than San Francisco's. In doing so, he declared that "it's important to find a way to make a healthy lifestyle palatable and exciting." Restaurants caught violating the ban, if it were passed, would face fines ranging between $200 and $2,500.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass + 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV