California’s Santa Clara County has become the first county in the U.S. to ban toys as rewards or promotion from fast food children’s meals, foreign media reports.
Childhood obesity in the U.S has tripled in 30 years and two thirds of adult Americans, or 190 million people, are overweight.
“This ordinance breaks the link between unhealthy food and prizes,” the county supervisor Ken Yeager said, adding: “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.”
Dr. Dan Delgado, who is in charge of a county program targeting childhood obesity, said as a powerful lure for children, toys encourage them to eat unhealthy food, resulting in obesity accordingly.
However, the ordinance has angered the California Restaurant Association because it has affected about a dozen fast food restaurants in unincorporated areas of Silicon Valley.
“Obviously we felt that this proposal was excessive and I think purposely provocative,” said Daniel Conway, director of the Public Affairs of the Association.
“We try to proactively engage with policy makers at the local level, the state level and the federal level… At the national level, our industry just played a critical role in passing a national menu labeling standard, so that now customers in many restaurants will be able to have in front of them the exact nutritional content of the various menu items,” Conway added.
Editor: Bi Mingxin