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McDonald's Sued Over Happy Meal Toys

The lawsuit was moved to federal court, though Parham intends to get the case moved back to California.

Stephen Gardner, litigation attorney for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, argued that McDonald's employed an almost-standard method to getting the case dismissed.

"What is different about this motion is that McDonald's has chosen to blame the victim -- saying that it's all Monet Parham's fault if she doesn't force her daughter to ignore the onslaught of McDonald's marketing messages," Gardner said. "McDonald's makes a lot of money by going around parents direct to kids, and it wants to continue with that strategy."


New York City Council member Leroy G. Comrie Jr. said kids' meals, such as those offered at McDonald's and other fast-food establishments, need reduced amounts of fat, salt and sugar if toys are to be included.

He introduced the bill to New York 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. Fewer 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 kids' meal toy banning proposal in November; Santa Clara, Calif. enacted comparable legislation earlier last year.

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