Given the children’s preference for the very appealing and tasty fast food menus that sometimes come with various surprises, such as a free toy with every Happy Meal, it is no wonder the obesity rates are so high.
Even if fast food chains like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s have started listing the amount of calories contained by the products they are serving, this does not seem to have made too much of a difference. Children and teenagers are not concerned about the labels. They only want to get their unhealthy food and free toy.
This is why the New York City council has thought about implementing new rules regarding the meals served to children. Basically, fast food restaurants will be asked to make their happy meals healthier by reducing the number of calories below 500. They also need to start putting fruit, vegetables and whole grains in their meals and start reducing the quantity of salt, added sugar and fat.
The new Happy Meals will contain less than 10 percent calories from sugars, less than 35 calories from fat and much less than 600 mg. of sodium.
A research study conducted by experts from Langone Medical Center showed that, while displaying the number of calories on the label made no difference, the new bill would be very successful in lowering obesity rates in the future.
“We found that kids that were ordering the children’s meals, if the provisions in this bill were met, would save about 54 calories. We need to think of a number of policies happening at the same time. That’s almost a 10 percent reduction in calories,” said Dr. Brian Elbel from Langone Medical Center.
The new changes only target the meals that provide a free toy for now, but theywill hopefully be implemented for a wider variety of menus.
The idea of passing this regulation is not entirely new. It was first introduced about four years ago by Ben Kallos, who is a council member, and it was submitted again in 2014.
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