Wellness

How A San Francisco Law Aimed At Healthier Fast Food Failed

FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2010 file photo,  a Happy Meal is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco. McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco found a way to comply with a city law that bans free toy giveaways with Happy Meals: charge 10 cents for the toys.  San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to prohibit fast food restaurants from including toys with children's meals that don't meet certain nutritional guidelines. The law takes effect Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)
FILE - In this Nov. 8, 2010 file photo, a Happy Meal is seen at a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco. McDonald's restaurants in San Francisco found a way to comply with a city law that bans free toy giveaways with Happy Meals: charge 10 cents for the toys. San Francisco became the first major U.S. city to prohibit fast food restaurants from including toys with children's meals that don't meet certain nutritional guidelines. The law takes effect Thursday, Dec. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, file)

San Francisco’s Healthy Food Incentives Ordinance , commonly called the “toy ordinance,” was meant to improve the nutritional value of fast-food kids meals. It made it so that fast-food companies couldn’t give away toys in kids meals unless they met certain nutritional criteria, such as fewer than 600 calories, inclusion of fruit and vegetables, and less than 640mg of sodium.

Instead of meeting these standards, fast-food companies started charging for toys rather than including them for free.