Via the Echo:
Council group considers banning McDonald’s Happy Meals
Feb 25 2008
McDONALDâ€™S Happy Meals may be outlawed in Liverpool on the grounds they are damaging childrenâ€™s health.
City councillors claim the burger giant is contributing to the epidemic of childhood obesity by offering free toys to encourage youngsters to buy their food.
McDonaldâ€™s has strongly rejected the claims.
Members of Liverpool councilâ€™s childhood obesity scrutiny group want a bye-law that would forbid the sale of fast food accompanied by toys.
It has called for a report that would pave the way for the bye-law, which would be the first of its kind in the UK.
The plan will be put to a select committee of Liverpool Council at the end of the month.
Lib Dem councillor Paul Twigger said: â€œWe consider it is high time that McDonaldâ€™s are challenged over their marketing policies.
â€œChildren are directly targeted with junk food and McDonaldâ€™s use the Happy Meals to exploit the pester power of children, against which many parents give in.â€
The Happy Meal containing the most calories â€“ cheeseburger, small fries and chocolate milkshake â€“ has 740 cals, almost half of childrenâ€™s recommended daily allowance of 1600. The healthiest meal on the menu comprises carrot sticks, nuggets, and mineral water, with 200 cals.
Cllr Twigger, 26, added: â€œThey know that most children wonâ€™t want carrots and water but put them on the menu to stave off the criticism from health campaigners.â€
Healthy eating campaigners are backing Liverpool councilâ€™s move.
Food Commission spokesman Ian Tokelove said: â€œMcDonaldâ€™s are very skilled at getting children into their restaurants and know how to tug on the purse strings of parents. But a lot of the food on the Happy Meal menu can put childrenâ€™s health at risk if eaten too regularly.â€