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A controversial meal. [Flickr: happymealy]

It wasn't so long ago that the federal government was discussing regulating the nutritional value of foods advertised to children. While that legislation slipped through the cracks, some cities have decided to take matters into their own hands. Yesterday, supervisor Eric Mar of San Francisco introduced legislation that proposes banning toys from Happy Meals and other restaurant food unless the food meets certain nutritional guidelines.

What does Mar have in mind? The meals in question must not exceed 600 calories, and cannot contain more than 0.5 grams of saturated or trans-fat per meal item. If the foods do not meet these requirements, no "toy or other youth-focused incentive item" may be offered in conjunction with the meal.

McDonald's has come under fire recently because of the poor nutritional quality of some of their youth-focused food items. The legislation in San Francisco is still brand new, but it will be interesting to see how national chains react to strong pressure from individual cities.

About the author: A student in Providence, Rhode Island, Leah Douglas loves consuming and learning about as much food as possible. She blogs at Feasting on Providence.

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