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 (2,110 Responses)
  1. dapoxetine

    priligy tablets buy priligy online

    May 5, 2021 at 04:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. aika online private servers

    Great site you have here.. It’s hard to find high quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 5, 2021 at 06:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. aika online private server


    May 5, 2021 at 08:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. truck windshield repair


    May 5, 2021 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Eye Near Me


    May 5, 2021 at 10:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. RV AC Los Angeles

    Good post. I definitely love this site. Stick with it!


    May 5, 2021 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. life coach near me


    May 5, 2021 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. dog parks near me


    May 5, 2021 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. food truck maintenance


    May 6, 2021 at 00:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. cargo trailer repair

    After looking over a handful of the blog articles on your site, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing a blog. I book marked it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my website too and tell me how you feel.


    May 6, 2021 at 03:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. supercuts near me


    May 6, 2021 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. health coach near me

    I truly love your blog.. Great colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own site and would love to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is called. Cheers!


    May 6, 2021 at 13:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. wingstop near me


    May 6, 2021 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. windshield replacement lake forest


    May 6, 2021 at 17:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Crafted Beers

    Great article! We are linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


    May 6, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Used Forklift Parts California


    May 7, 2021 at 03:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. gun store near me

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Many thanks!


    May 7, 2021 at 04:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. commercial truck body shop near me

    That is a great tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise information… Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read post!


    May 7, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. New Forklift Service California


    May 7, 2021 at 08:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Forklift Service Shop Los Angeles


    May 7, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Table Wine Classes


    May 7, 2021 at 08:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. parts shop near me

    There's certainly a great deal to learn about this subject. I really like all of the points you have made.


    May 7, 2021 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Social Media Marketing Market

    There is certainly a great deal to find out about this subject. I love all the points you have made.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. bay door repair


    May 7, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Content Marketing Management


    May 8, 2021 at 02:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Content Marketing Masters

    You ought to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites online. I'm going to highly recommend this website!


    May 8, 2021 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Content Marketing Ideas


    May 8, 2021 at 13:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. movies stores near me

    When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and from now on each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!


    May 8, 2021 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Digital Marketing Agency


    May 8, 2021 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. RV Couches Near Me

    I absolutely love your blog.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you create this site yourself? Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my own blog and would love to learn where you got this from or just what the theme is named. Thanks!


    May 8, 2021 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Local Marketing Program


    May 8, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. RV Paint Shop Los Angeles

    You're so interesting! I don't think I've read something like this before. So nice to find someone with a few unique thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!


    May 8, 2021 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Google Marketing Business


    May 9, 2021 at 01:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Social Media Marketing Management


    May 9, 2021 at 05:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Internet Marketing Studio

    This is the right website for anyone who wishes to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that's been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just great!


    May 9, 2021 at 08:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Internet Marketing Services California

    I have to thank you for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I really hope to see the same high-grade content by you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own blog now 😉


    May 9, 2021 at 12:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Seo Marketing Agencies

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering troubles with your RSS. I don’t understand why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS issues? Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 9, 2021 at 13:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Content Marketing Company


    May 9, 2021 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. RV Upgrades Near Me

    It’s difficult to find well-informed people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 9, 2021 at 17:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Digital Marketing Videos

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Many thanks, However I am experiencing difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody else getting identical RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 9, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Content Marketing Events


    May 9, 2021 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. RV Windshield Near Me

    I love reading through an article that can make men and women think. Also, thanks for permitting me to comment!


    May 9, 2021 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Local Marketing Companies

    I wanted to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every bit of it. I have you saved as a favorite to check out new things you post…


    May 9, 2021 at 20:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Internet Marketing Ideas

    May I simply just say what a comfort to discover somebody that actually knows what they're talking about on the web. You actually know how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people ought to check this out and understand this side of your story. I was surprised that you're not more popular given that you certainly have the gift.


    May 9, 2021 at 20:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Social Media Marketing Quote


    May 9, 2021 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Content Marketing Masters


    May 10, 2021 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Content Marketing Pictures

    After checking out a few of the blog articles on your web page, I honestly like your way of blogging. I saved it to my bookmark site list and will be checking back soon. Please check out my web site too and let me know how you feel.


    May 10, 2021 at 16:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Internet Marketing Clinic


    May 10, 2021 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Internet Marketing Firms


    May 10, 2021 at 21:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Content Marketing California

    Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can't subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 10, 2021 at 21:58 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33

Leave a Reply to Formal Hairstyles


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.