US toy-banning trend subject of web satire
Sunday 10 April 2011
A New York City proposal to ban toys in kids' meals has attracted worldwide attention, including the cheeky eye of Taiwanese animators who give their take on the city's increasingly stringent health policies.
In the video by Next Media Animation, Leroy Comrie, the overweight New York City councilman who submitted a proposal this week to ban toys in unhealthy kids' meals, is portrayed stealing Happy Meals from little children, replacing them with veggie plates, and gorging on burgers in a corner by himself.
Through the magic of CGI animation, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is pitted against KFC's Colonel Sanders in a Matrix-like showdown as he dodges deep-fried chicken legs with gravity-defying agility.
And Ronald McDonald is run out of New York by a bat-wielding man from San Francisco, where a toy ban was first implemented last year.
After running through a list of some of the health policies introduced in the city - including smoking bans and trans fat bans in restaurants - the narrator says some New Yorkers are wondering "just how far new health laws will go."
It's the same question that was raised when San Francisco enacted the fast food toy ban last year, drawing criticism among some consumers for being tantamount to "food fascism."
Meanwhile, a day after Comrie submitted his proposal on April 5, the state Senate of Arizona approved a bill that will allow iconic McDonald's Happy Meals to continue offering children a toy with their burger.
The vote makes Arizona the first state in the country to push back against the growing movement to eliminate toys in kids' meals that are high in fat and sodium.
A similar legislation is making its way through Florida.
Comrie's proposal would ban toys in kids' meals over 500 calories and 600 mg of sodium.
McDonald's posted a Twitter response to the controversy April 5, suggesting that governments should leave food choices to families.
"Families say our food & toys r part of fun McD's meal. We trust families 2 make right food choices. Politicians should too."
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