Other U.S. fast-food restaurant chains should follow Jack in the Box's lead and stop adding toys to kids' meals, a practice that encourages unhealthy eating, says Center for Science in the Public Interest

June 21, 2011 We hope that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell are paying attention to Jack in the Box, which has decided to stop using toys to market fast-food meals to children.

Using toys to market unhealthy restaurant meals to kids exploits children, annoys parents, and is frowned upon by nutritionists, behavioral scientists, and a growing number of public health officials around the country. It’s too bad that McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Taco Bell think they can’t compete on the basis of quality, value, taste, or nutrition, but instead must resort to such a discredited marketing tactic to lure families to their businesses.

We congratulate Jack in the Box for stopping toy-based food marketing, regardless of its motivation, and hope local and state policymakers consider cracking down on the practice further.

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Note: CSPI’s litigation department is currently in court as co-counsel to a California woman who is suing McDonald’s over their use of toys to market directly to children.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is a nonprofit health advocacy group based in Washington, DC, that focuses on nutrition, food safety, and pro-health alcohol policies. CSPI is supported by the 900,000 U.S. and Canadian subscribers to its Nutrition Action Healthletter and by foundation grants.

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