New York City Council Member Leroy Comrie (D) has introduced a bill (Int. No. 530) that would ban toy giveaways in restaurant meals deemed high in calories, sodium and fat. Amending the city’s administrative code “in relation to setting nutrition standards for distributing incentive items aimed at children,” the bill mirrors a similar San Francisco measure set to go into effect in December 2011.
Comrie’s proposal would require establishments that offer toys with meals to make sure the food contains less than 500 calories, 600 milligrams of sodium and 35 percent of calories from fat. A half cup of fruit or vegetables and one serving of a whole-grain product must be included in the meal. Violators would be subject to fines ranging from $200 to $2,500.
“While I recognize that ensuring children have access to, and eat more, nutritious meals is ultimately the responsibility of their caretakers, the City Council can empower parents by making it harder for the fast food industry to target children with predatory marketing techniques,” Comrie was quoted as saying. See Reuters, April 5, 2011.