TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to
setting nutrition standards for restaurants distributing incentive
items aimed at children
PURPOSE: This legislation will set standards by which fast food
restaurants must adhere to with regard to the distribution of
incentives with the purchase of children's meals. Meals will be
required to fall within certain nutritional guidelines which will
limit the amount of fat, sugar, calories and sodium Per meal If a meal
that is geared for children falls outside of these guidelines, the
restaurant will be forced to remove the incentive item.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
The public health law is amended by adding a new section 1352-d which
defines the terms:
-incentive item - any toy, mane, trading card, admission ticket or
other consumer Product, whether physical or digital, with particular
appeal to children, which is provided directly by the restaurant
-meal - any combination of food and drink items offered together for a
- restaurant - any coffee shoo, cafeteria, luncheonette, sandwich
stand, diner, short order cafe, fast food establishment, soda
fountain, and any other eating or beverage establishment, which gives
or offers for sale food or beverages to the public
This section (1152-d) goes on to state that the commissioner shall
make regulations establishing nutrition standards for meals, food
items, and beverages offered for Purchase in combination with an
incentive item by a restaurant.
Penalties for violation of the provisions will result in:
1st Violation - up to $500 fine
2nd Violation - up to $1,000 fine
3rd Violation - up to $2,500 fine
JUSTIFICATION: Obesity in this country has groan into an alarming
epidemic. Seventy-three million Americans are obese according to a
2010 report issued by the Center for Disease Control, which is a large
increase from the 2.4 million obese Americans in 2007. Furthermore,
at least 17 of American Children (aces 2-19 years) are how considered
overweight or obese.
Obesity in our children comes with increased health risks, both now
and in the future during adulthood. Children who are overweight or
obese also have an increased risk for being overweight or obese when
they are older. The cost of obesity is also extremely serious.
Nationally, the annual cost of providing inpatient treatment to
children diagnosed with obesity increased from $125.9 million in 2001
to $217.6 million in 2005.
The food that is served in restaurants that is geared toward our
children is often the Culprit in this obesity epidemic. Studies have
shown a positive association between eating out, higher caloric
intakes, and higher body weights. Children often eat nearly twice as
many calories (an average of 770) when they eat a meal at a restaurant
than they do when they eat at home (an average of 420). What is also
alarming is the fact that the meals served in restaurants often fail
to meet the recommended healthy nutritional standards set for cur
children by the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Restaurants are encouraging our children to make these unhealthy
choices by linking them, with a free toy or other incentive item. An
estimated $60 million was spent in 2006 by ten major, restaurant
chains on incentive, items to distribute with their children's meals.
This legislation does not seek to ban these toys and incentives, but
rather use them to reward healthier purchases, Linking toys with
healthier options will reward our children for making better
This legislation will improve the health of the children of view York
State by ,setting healthy nutritional guidelines for children's meals
that are served in restaurants and accompanied by toys or other
incentive-items. These standards will support families seeking healthy
eating choices for their children. Children will be encouraged to make
healthier choices when eating out.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2011/12 - A7662C - Ref to Codes
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 120th day after it
shall become law.