Another front has opened on the battle against childhood obesity, in Santa Clara County CA, home of Silicon Valley. The county council there has banned the practice of including a toy with food items marketed to children that fail to meet certain dietary benchmarks.
According to reports, in order to legally come with a toy, a drink must come in at less than 120 calories, a single food item at less than 200 calories and a meal at less than 485 calories. Sodium, fat and sugar levels are also limited.
A California restaurant association exec said that the County should not be taking on the role of parents.
RBR-TVBR observation: Our kids are eating the adult meals now, but we remember back in the day when they were all about the kiddie packages. Our children only rarely had an opportunity to indulge – that’s where our parenting skills kicked in – but still, they and all their friends knew exactly what was being offered where at all times, and when we DID offer a visit to a fast food place, negotiations were usually about toys, not food.
We are certain that fast food restaurants will not like it at all if bills like this pop up elsewhere, but we also suspect it would not have any effect on their need to market effectively to keep the kids coming through the doors, whether or not what they may be purchasing is better for them.