Woman sues McDonald's over Happy Meals
December 15th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

Woman sues McDonald's over Happy Meals

A California woman is suing McDonald's claiming the fast-food giant uses toys to market directly to young children. Monet Parham, a Sacramento, California, mother of two small children filed the lawsuit Wednesday in San Francisco along with health, nutrition and food safety advocates Center for Science in the Public Interest . CSPI is seeking court approval to proceed as a class action.

Parham, a 41-year old state employee, says her kids repeatedly ask for Happy Meals, mainly for the toys. "We have to say no to our kids so many times and McDonald's makes that so much harder to do. I object to the fact that McDonald's is getting into my kids' heads without my permission and actually changing what my kids want to eat."

Michael Jacobson, CSPI's executive director accused McDonald's of "one of the most insidious marketing practices–dangling a toy in front of a small child." Jacobson called the practice "unfair, deceptive and illegal' in California and many other states. "The food industry has a responsibility not to intrude into families by using sleazy marketing techniques getting kids to pester their parents."

Jacobson compared the tactics to tobacco companies marketing to kids with things like Joe Camel. "In this instance, McDonald's is worse. They are going straight at little kids. The company is using unfair techniques to persuade the kids to persuade the parents to go to McDonald's. Tobacco companies don't go after 3 year-olds. Neither does Coca Cola or Pepsi."

In 2006, fast food companies spent over $520 million on advertising and toys to market kids meals. More than $350 million of that was for toys alone. Last month, The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance that requires happy meals and other fast food offerings with toys meet new nutritional standards or be removed from menus. It goes into effect next December.

McDonald's says it is proud of its Happy Meals and will vigorously defend the company's brand, its reputation and its food. "We stand on our 30-year track record of providing a fun experience for kids and families at McDonald's," said Bridget Coffing, a company spokesperson. "We listen to our customers, and parents consistently tell us they approve of our Happy Meals. We are confident that parents understand and appreciate that Happy Meals are a fun treat, with quality, right-sized food choices for their children that can fit into a balanced diet."

This is not the first time CSPI has challenged fast food companies in court. In 2006 the organization went after Kellogg for marketing cereals loaded with sugar to children. In that case CSPI and Kellogg reached a settlement. CSPI also sued Kentucky Fried Chicken for frying its chicken in partially hydrogenated oil, which is high in trans fat. When KFC phased out the oil, CSPI dropped the lawsuit.

soundoff (1,397 Responses)
  1. google

    Thank you for another informative blog. The place else could I am getting
    that type of information written in such a perfect means?
    I've a project that I am just now operating on, and I have been on the
    glance out for such information.

    July 10, 2014 at 03:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Anna Wilson

    Marie Callender's organic cornbread is to die for…. I've used this mix for several years and everyone in my family loves it!! Now, it's sort of a tradition for me and the little ones to have weekly baking sessions with MC’s cornbreads and muffins. You should visit their website today http://www.mccornbread.com to purchase your mixes. I’m sure you will enjoy the great taste!

    July 22, 2014 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Elizabeth

    In studying the Lew Archer novels of Ross Macdonald I’ve tried to identify certain characteristics, themes, motifs, images – call them what you like – that crop up frequently throughout the various books. I don’t claim that the following are particularly important or have any special significance or meaning; nor do I say this is a comprehensive list. They are simply some things I’ve noticed in more than one of the novels. Some of these appear in quite a few of the Archers. In time I hope to post the results of reading through each of the books individually while searching for these ‘repeaters’.

    February 26, 2015 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Rashida

    Thank you for another great article. Where else could anyone get that type of info in such a perfect way of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I'm on the look for such info.


    May 8, 2017 at 12:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Elmira Sagredo

    Hey, You have done an admirable job. I most certainly will obviously digg it and actually recommend to my buddies. Most likely they will be benefited from this great site.


    September 10, 2017 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Cornell Adolph

    you are a real good webmaster. The web site loading speed is impressive. It seems that your are performing any one of a kind trick. Likewise, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic job with this topic!


    September 10, 2017 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Marlon Wmith



    October 18, 2019 at 06:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. ou acheter cialis fiable moins chГЁre

    Mauvaise herbe croГ®t toujours. https://www.cialis20.fr Surrey CR7 7EO.

    December 6, 2019 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. this link electrical repair san diego

    I'm just commenting to make you be aware of what a nice experience our princess experienced checking your web site. She even learned many issues, including what it's like to possess an awesome coaching heart to make the others without problems gain knowledge of certain complicated matters. You really did more than her expected results. Thank you for displaying the effective, safe, explanatory and also fun tips on the topic to Kate.


    December 1, 2020 at 22:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. detectives privados tres cantos

    detectives privados almuñecar


    December 10, 2020 at 18:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. detectives privados las rozas

    detectives privados arganda del rey


    December 12, 2020 at 02:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Lachelle Sheidler

    Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My website covers a lot of the same topics as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. If you are interested feel free to shoot me an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you! Fantastic blog by the way!


    December 14, 2020 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jon Byker

    *Nice post. I discover some thing much harder on various blogs everyday. Most commonly it is stimulating to study content from other writers and exercise a specific thing from their website. I’d opt to apply certain while using the content in this little blog whether or not you do not mind. Natually I’ll provide a link on your own internet weblog. Appreciate your sharing.


    December 20, 2020 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Rueben Pusser

    El servicio de reparación e instalación de ciertos aparatos electrodomésticos Siemens dispositivos domésticos, es una actividad a la que el servicio técnico Siemens Tenerife dedica gran parte de sus recursos técnicos y humanos. La empresa realiza esta labor contando para ello con un amplio plantel de profesionales capacitados, tanto en el área orientada al usuario doméstico como en el sector industrial empresarial. Albergues – Teléfono: 34 9 7.220.1... – Dirección: Calle Cristóbal Pérez Pastor, 80, Albacete, Albacete.


    December 21, 2020 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. make money online today

    Earn 100 commissions of up to 900+ dollars DAILY. 90 Second Set Up – Beta Tested Proven 24-7 AUTOPILOT Income – The Ultimate Work Safe At Home System More details: https://bit.ly/2YfQFcC


    December 26, 2020 at 14:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dorian Brockett

    But having surplus weight is bad for your health. It can lead to An increase in blood pressure, which then raises your chances of suffering a stroke. It can also lead to high blood sugar (diabetes), high cholesterol and heart disease. Here are seven easy things you can do to start losing weight. They're simple to perform. They take no complex thought, no massive amounts of willpower. Anyone can perform them. Then once the weight starts coming off, perhaps you'll have the motivation to create even larger changes that can result in even more weight loss. The Solution is you should consume complex carbohydrates, which usually Come in high fiber foods. Complex carbohydrates break down gradually in your blood, providing you a steady blood sugar level through the day. This in turn allows you to feel less hungry and irritable during those periods of the day when you may feel hungry - like mid-morning and mid-afternoon. On the other hand, the carbohydrates you need to stay away from are Simple carbohydrates. These carbohydrates are more easily broken down by the body Which results in your bloodstream being bombarded with simple sugars (sugar ). https://is.gd/4ZUHXv


    December 29, 2020 at 13:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Married

    image caption Steve Easterbrook, pictured with company mascot Ronald McDonald, the month he became head of McDonald s in 2015

    January 2, 2021 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Hiroko Worst

    Thanks for your tips on this blog. One particular thing I would choose to say is purchasing consumer electronics items over the Internet is nothing new. Actually, in the past several years alone, the market for online electronic products has grown considerably. Today, you will discover practically almost any electronic system and other gadgets on the Internet, ranging from cameras plus camcorders to computer parts and gaming consoles.


    January 8, 2021 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Krystal Riccardo

    Local Law 196 is a NYC DOB law that requires workers and supervisors at most NYC construction sites to obtain a SST card by completing specific courses through a NYC DOB approved training provider. Able Safety offers multiple packages to complete this training at great low prices. All our SST classes can be completed entirely online from any device (phone, tablet, pc/mac). The NYC DOB’s SST compliance deadline was originally set for September 1st 2020. The deadline has since been extended to March 1st 2021. By this date you will need the following to be allowed to work on most construction sites in NYC.


    January 18, 2021 at 09:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Tuyet Schepers

    Ofrecemos a todos nuestros clientes la seriedad, la profesionalidad, el rigor y el compromiso que merecen los mecanizados de precisión que fabricamos, excelentes y exclusivos, respondiendo a las exigencias y necesidades de cada cliente, de la mano de profesionales comprometidos con la tarea, como confiable empresa de mecanizados en Bilbao, ciudad donde hemos tenido gran repercusión, en cualquier otro punto del área nacional.


    January 20, 2021 at 03:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Dick Villanveua

    Recuerde que nuestro Servicio Tecnico Bosch en Cerdanyola del Valles ofrece mantenimientos, reparaciones y todo lo relacionado al cuidado de sus electrodomésticos. Los técnicos de servicio llegan a su domicilio con los repuestos originales para la reparación y aumentar la posibilidad de la reparar su aparato en una sola visita. Una marca líder como Bosch siempre ha de contar con una asistencia técnica de primerísima calidad. Para contactar con el servicio oficial al cliente Bosch debes llamar al 245 255 ó al 97 305 713.


    January 24, 2021 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Leave a Reply to Joe


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.