New York Post Lawmakers attempt at ‘healthy’ Happy Meals falls short by Michael Gartland
Local lawmakers on Tuesday launched an attack on McDonald’s Happy Meals, only to get pushback from the city’s Health Department.
Deputy Health Commissioner Sonia Angell told a City Council Health Committee hearing that it would be too tough to enforce proposed nutritional restrictions on the calorie-laden kids’ meals.
A council bill would require any kids’ meal with an accompanying toy to be limited to no more than 500 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium, with no more than 35 percent of the calories from fat and no more than 10 percent from saturated fat or added sugar.
“We believe that restaurants will not be able to comply with, and the department will not be able to enforce, the bill’s requirements,’’ Angell testified.
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), one of the bill’s sponsors, replied, “It’s hard for me to fathom that [the Health Department], which is in the business of doing this with sodium and trans fats . . . isn’t able to do this.”
The bill was first proposed in 2011. Since then, McDonald’s has spent more than $528,000 to lobby council members to block it.
McDonald’s chief nutritionist, Cynthia Goody, brought three large bags of Happy Meals to the meeting and offered them to legislators. None bit.
“We’re already addressing the goals of this legislation by providing calorie-appropriate meals,” Goody said.