A newly passed bill could help to improve the nutritional profile of McDonald’s Happy Meals for kids says research.
A bill got passed recently in New York City. It could have a huge impact on the junk food marketed to kids such as McDonald’s Happy Meals. Among the health hazard markers it could help reduce are calories, fat and sodium.
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The New York City Council member, Benjamin J. Kallos proposed the bill. The gist of the bill is simple. It is that all fast food items ought to have a modicum of fruits, vegetables and whole grains as a side order. This is to counter the phenomenon of empty calories that fast food is so (in)famous for.
Usually such kids comestibles as Happy Meals are sold using gimmicks. These include toys and promotional items. There is a stricture in the bill. It says that the junk food must have less than 500 calories per piece of eatable stuff.
From these 35% of the calories must come from fat. And 10% calories may come from saturated fat and sugars respectively. Furthermore, there should be no more than 600 grams of sodium in the junk food.
The bill bears an uncanny likeness to another bill. This bill got passed awhile back in the state of California. Extensive research got conducted. That is on the families and children who visit fast food restaurants such as McDonald’s.
Their consumption habits and myriad statistics were gathered. After careful analysis a series of steps were stipulated. Among the fast food outlets may be included McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King.
It was discovered that close to 98% of the meals eaten by children did not have a sound nutritional profile at all. They were laced with oil, fat, salt, sugar and processed carbs.
The injunctions to be implemented by the New York City Council will mean 54 fewer calories per meal for kids. This will over the passage of many years hopefully curb the obesogenic trends. Or at least they might halt child obesity epidemic in its tracks.
The overall impact can add up as people go into a negative calorie balance. No matter how small, it is a start. And with more stringent standards in health and nutrition, America could win the battle against obesity if it wants to.
It is not impossible. Nothing is for that matter. Passing the bill was the right thing to do. And its effects will become more visible as time moves on in a linear fashion.
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The study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine on August 31.