McDonald's Seeks to Circumvent San Francisco Law on Fast-Food Toys

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan


McDonald’s decision to start charging 10 cents to have toys added to Happy Meals in San Francisco is a brazen and cynical attempt to circumvent the city’s law to encourage healthier children’s meals. It’s duplicitous for McDonald’s to claim that the toy was ever free—the cost of the toy has always been built into the cost of the meal.

It would have been far better for McDonald’s to reduce calories, saturated fat, salt and sugary drinks in children’s meals, and to otherwise improve their nutrition by adding more fruits, non-fried vegetables, and whole grains. Other cities and state legislatures will need to prevent this workaround and protect children from toy-based junk-food marketing when they craft similar laws in the future.

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Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at] or Ariana Stone (astone[at]