Taco Bell to Drop Kids' Meals
Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan
Taco Bell is taking a constructive step forward by no longer using toys to encourage kids to pester their parents to go to that restaurant. Other fast-food restaurants, like McDonald's and Burger King, and the food industry's self regulatory program, don't even acknowledge that the toys they use to promote their children's meals constitute marketing. One industry exception is Jack in the Box, which dropped using toys to market children's meals back in June 2011.
Dropping the kids' menu may lead parents to order higher calorie meals off the regular menu, and it’s not as if its adult menu is full of health food.
We urge McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's, and others to follow Taco Bell's lead and stop using toys or other premiums to lure kids to meals of poor nutritional quality. YUM Brands' own KFC restaurants will continue to offer children's meals that are marketed using premiums.
And with over 90 percent of children's meals at the top chains failing to meet the restaurant industry's own nutrition standards for kids' meals, all restaurants should do much more to improve their offerings.
Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at]cspinet.org) or Ariana Stone (astone[at]cspinet.org).