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November 24th, 2010
11:00 AM ET

San Francisco overrides mayoral veto, bans Happy Meals with toys

The ordinance requires Happy Meals and other fast food with toys to meet new nutritional standards.

The ordinance requires Happy Meals and other fast food with toys to meet new nutritional standards.

Michael Martinez
CNN

(CNN) - The San Francisco, California, Board of Supervisors banned most McDonald's Happy Meals with toys Tuesday. Despite objections and ridicule from opponents, the vote overrode the mayor's veto and officially approved the ban.

The new ordinance, which requires Happy Meals and other fast food with toys to meet new nutritional standards or else be removed from menus, goes into effect December 1, 2011.

The law is the first of its kind for a major American city, and San Francisco officials said they hope other cities would follow. The ordinance seeks to battle a child obesity epidemic by forcing fast-food chains to make any meal with a toy more nutritious for kids.

McDonald's and the restaurant industry contended the government regulation was unwanted by parents. Supporters of the measure, however, said the use of free toys, often tied to characters or themes in new movies, pandered to kids, to get them to buy meals high in fat and calories.

If restaurants want to offer toys as incentives, the meals must meet new nutrition standards, officials said.

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