Public health activists take aim at fast food children's meals

Dec 06, 2010

Fast food marketing toward children is being eyed by public health advocates.

With the nation's obesity levels showing little sign of easing up, public health experts and policymakers have been considering various ways to try to enact long-term solutions to the problem.

In recent years, much has been made of the quality of the food and beverages that are sold in the nation's schools - particularly those that are found in vending machines. While some progress has been made in this area, it is still just one relatively small part of the nation's overall obesity problem.

Another issue that has captured the attention of some public health advocates is the children's meals containing toys that many fast food chains offer. Some activists feel that these products are comparable to efforts by tobacco and alcohol companies to develop future lifelong customers with subtle marketing efforts.

According to a recent USA Today report, officials in San Francisco are now considering a ban on fast food children's meals containing toys unless they meet certain nutritional guidelines and contain some healthy items like fruit or vegetables.

People who do adopt healthy eating habits can benefit in countless ways, especially if they start early. Along with living a longer and healthier life, people will also tend to find that they are eligible for lower life insurance rates.

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