New York City Council Member Benjamin Kallos (D-Upper East Side) has introduced legislation (442-2014) that would allow toy giveaways, digital rewards and other incentives only in children’s meals that meet strict nutritional requirements. If adopted, the Healthy Happy Meals Act would define “incentive item” as (i) “any toy, game, trading card, admission ticket or other consumer product, whether physical or digital, with particular appeal to children, which is provided directly by the restaurant,” or (ii) “any coupon, voucher, ticket, token, code or password which is provided directly by the restaurant and is redeemable for or grants digital or other access to any toy, game, trading card, admission ticket, or other consumer product with particular appeal to children.”
The proposed rules would require children’s meals that offer such items to contain one serving of fruit, vegetable or whole grains and less than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium. In addition, these meals must also derive less than 35 percent of their calories from fat, 10 percent of their calories from saturated fats and 10 percent of their calories from added sugars.
“An estimated one-fourth of a child’s meals come from restaurants or fast food places. These could be healthy calories,” Kallos told reporters. “It is difficult enough for parents to give their children healthy food without the fast food industry spending hundreds of million [sic] dollars per year advertising.” Additional details about a similar measure appear in Issue 455 of this Update. See CBS New York, August 21, 2014.