(NYC Happy Meal toy ban report and poll updated with additional detail.)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Following in the footsteps of a measure adopted in San Francisco last year, a New York City councilman is proposing that free toys be banned from fast-food meals intended to appeal to children unless the meals meet certain healthfulness guidelines.
Restaurants caught violating the ban, if it were passed, would face fines ranging between $200 and $2,500. 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. He thinks "it's important to find a way to make a healthy lifestyle palatable and exciting."
McDonald's and the New York State Restaurant Association are likely not to take this battle lightly. "This proposal robs parents of choice while increasing the already burdensome regulation on local restaurant owners," said Andrew Rigie, executive vice president of the New York City Chapter of the New York Restaurant Association, according to a New York Times report. An executive for McDonald's New York region, Mason Smott, said that "taking away toys from kids' meals won't solve childhood obesity." "Our Happy Meals make it easier for families to choose the right foods in portions just for kids," Smoot said. "We provide options for our customers and trust them to make the decisions that are right for their families. Politicians should, too." "We are not trying to hurt anyone's bottom line," Comrie said. "We are trying to help people's bottoms."
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