Supervisor Eric Mar of San Francisco joined us on the show Wednesday to discuss the bill he authored that would prohibit restaurants from including toys with meals that do not meet nutritional guidelines. This recently introduced bill is similar to that which went into effect in Santa Clara County in August. Mar’s reasoning for this bill is to promote healthy eating habits and to address the growing issue of childhood obesity in this country.
If the “Healthy Meal Incentive” legislation passes, a meal may include a toy or incentive only if it contains fruits and vegetables, does not exceed 600 calories or 200 calories for a single food item and does not have beverages that have excessive fat or sugar.
As you can expect, the fast-food companies are up in arms and are already planning their lawsuits. Toys and incentives are a powerful marketing tool that drive sales. The mark-up on fruits and vegetables is not as high as it is on chicken nuggets and french fries. This is going to dig into their profits.
As Jamie Oliver has shown us, many kids these days don’t even know what common fruits and vegetables look like. Could this be a way to bring something positive out of the fast-food industry’s marketing dollars?
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