San Francisco mayor vetoes ‘Happy Meal’ ban

SAN FRANCISCO, November 13, 2010 (AFP) – San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has vetoed a ban on sales of McDonald’s Happy Meals with children’s toys as too intrusive.

“Parents, not politicians, should decide what their children eat, especially when it comes to spending their own money,” Newsom said Friday in announcing the veto.

The city’s board of supervisors passed the legislation forbidding giveaways of toys with kids meals unless they met strict dietary criteria. McDonald’s Happy Meals, seen as the target of the ban, do not meet the board’s criteria.

The board could still override the mayor’s veto.

Newsom said the ban, while well-intentioned, was ineffective and amounted to “unwise and unprecedented governmental intrusion into parental responsibilities and private choices.”

He announced the veto at a press conference highlighting the city’s own efforts to combat childhood obesity and other health problems through a private-public program called “Shape Up SF.”

The program encourages kids to walk or bike to school, drink water, and eat healthier foods.

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