Santa Clara County, California was the first U.S. jurisdiction to implement an ordinance that prohibits the distribution of toys and other incentives to children with meals, foods, or beverages that do not meet minimal nutrition criteria. This paper examines how ordinance-affected restaurants changed their children’s menus, child-directed marketing, and toy distribution practices relative to non-affected restaurants in the first four months after the ordinance went into effect. Researchers found that, although restaurants had only 90 days to comply, the ordinance appears to have encouraged affected restaurants to promote healthier meal items, provide more nutritional guidance on signage, and remove toy signage or discontinue distribution of toys with unhealthy food items. No restaurants introduced healthier items post-ordinance, nor did they reformulate menu items to meet ordinance criteria.
Published: January 2012
ID #: 68301
Journal: Am J Prev Med
Authors: Otten JJ, Hekler EB, Krukowski RA, et al