Sets nutrition standards for restaurants distributing incentive items aimed at children.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to setting nutrition standards for restaurants distributing incentive items aimed at children
PURPOSE: This legislation will set standards by which fast food restaurants must adhere to with regard to the distribution of incentives with the purchase of children's meals. Meals will be required to fall within certain nutritional guidelines which will limit the amount of fat, sugar, calories and sodium per meal. If a meal that is geared for children falls outside of these guidelines, the restaurant will be forced to remove the incentive item.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: The public health law is amended by adding a new section 1352-d which defines the terms:
-incentive item - any toy, mane, trading card, admission ticket or other consumer product, whether physical or digital, with particular appeal to children, which is provided directly by the restaurant
-meal - any combination of food and drink items offered together for a single price
- restaurant - any coffee shop, cafeteria, luncheonette, sandwich stand, diner, short order cafe, fast food establishment, soda fountain, and any other eating or beverage establishment, which gives or offers for sale food or beverages to the public
This section (1152-d) goes on to state that the commissioner shall make regulations establishing nutrition standards for meals, food items, and beverages offered for purchase in combination with an incentive item by a restaurant.
Penalties for violation of the provisions will result in:
1st violation - up to $500 fine
2nd Violation - up to $1,000 fine
3rd Violation - up to $2,500 fine
JUSTIFICATION: Obesity in this country has grown into an alarming epidemic. Seventythree million Americans are obese according to a 2010 report issued by the Center for Disease Control, which is a large increase from the 2.4 million obese Americans in 2007. Furthermore, at least 17 of American Children (ages 2-19 years) are how considered overweight or obese.
Obesity in our children comes with increased health risks, both now and in the future during adulthood. Children who are overweight or obese also have an increased risk for being overweight or obese when they are older. The cost of obesity is also extremely serious. Nationally, the annual cost of providing inpatient treatment to children diagnosed with obesity increased from $125.9 million in 2001 to $217.6 million in 2005.
The food that is served in restaurants that is geared toward our children is often the culprit in this obesity epidemic. Studies have shown a positive association between eating out, higher caloric intakes, and higher body weights. Children often eat nearly twice as many calories (an average of 770) when they eat a meal at a restaurant than they do when they eat at home (an average of 420). What is also alarming is the fact that the meals served in restaurants often fail to meet the recommended healthy nutritional standards set for our children by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Restaurants are encouraging our children to make these unhealthy choices by linking them, with a free toy or other incentive item. An estimated $60 million was spent in 2006 by ten major restaurant chains on incentive items to distribute with their children's meals. This legislation does not seek to ban these toys and incentives, but rather use them to reward healthier purchases. Linking toys with healthier options will reward our children for making better nutritional choices.
This legislation will improve the health of the children of New York State by setting healthy nutritional guidelines for children's meals that are served in restaurants and accompanied by toys or other incentive items. These standards will support families seeking healthy eating choices for their children. Children will be encouraged to make healthier choices when eating out.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the 120th day after it shall become law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7849 IN SENATE September 21, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. RIVERA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to setting nutrition standards for restaurants distributing incentive items aimed at chil- dren THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The public health law is amended by adding a new section 1352-d to read as follows: S 1352-D. INCENTIVE ITEMS WITH RESTAURANT FOOD. 1. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, THE FOLLOWING TERMS SHALL BE DEFINED AS FOLLOWS: A. "INCENTIVE ITEM" SHALL MEAN ANY TOY, GAME, TRADING CARD, ADMISSION TICKET OR OTHER CONSUMER PRODUCT, WHETHER PHYSICAL OR DIGITAL, WITH PARTICULAR APPEAL TO CHILDREN, WHICH IS PROVIDED DIRECTLY BY THE RESTAU- RANT, OR ANY COUPON, VOUCHER, TICKET, TOKEN, CODE OR PASSWORD WHICH IS PROVIDED DIRECTLY BY THE RESTAURANT AND IS REDEEMABLE FOR OR GRANTS DIGITAL OR OTHER ACCESS TO ANY TOY, GAME, TRADING CARD, ADMISSION TICK- ET, OR OTHER CONSUMER PRODUCT WITH PARTICULAR APPEAL TO CHILDREN. B. "MEAL" SHALL MEAN ANY COMBINATION OF FOOD AND DRINK ITEMS OFFERED TOGETHER FOR A SINGLE PRICE. C. "RESTAURANT" SHALL MEAN ANY COFFEE SHOP, CAFETERIA, LUNCHEONETTE, SANDWICH STAND, DINER, SHORT ORDER CAFE, FAST FOOD ESTABLISHMENT, SODA FOUNTAIN, AND ANY OTHER EATING OR BEVERAGE ESTABLISHMENT, WHICH GIVES OR OFFERS FOR SALE FOOD OR BEVERAGES TO THE PUBLIC, GUESTS, MEMBERS, OR PATRONS, WHETHER FOOD OR BEVERAGES ARE CUSTOMARILY CONSUMED ON OR OFF THE PREMISES. 2. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL MAKE REGULATIONS ESTABLISHING NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS FOR MEALS, FOOD ITEMS, AND BEVERAGES THAT MAY BE OFFERED FOR PURCHASE IN COMBINATION WITH AN INCENTIVE ITEM BY A RESTAURANT. A RESTAURANT MAY OFFER AN INCENTIVE ITEM IN COMBINATION WITH THE PURCHASE OF A MEAL, FOOD ITEM, OR BEVERAGE, ONLY IF THE MEAL, FOOD ITEM, OR BEVERAGE, MEETS NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS ESTABLISHED BY THE COMMISSIONER UNDER THIS SECTION. NUTRITIONAL STANDARDS UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: CALORIES; SODIUM; PERCENTAGE OF CALO-EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD11079-08-2 S. 7849 2
RIES FROM FAT (WHICH MAY DIFFERENTIATE AMONG KINDS OR SOURCES OF FAT); SUGARS AND CALORIC SWEETENERS; AND FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND GRAINS. 3. ANY PERSON WHO VIOLATES ANY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE LIABLE FOR A CIVIL PENALTY OF UP TO FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A FIRST VIOLATION THEREOF; UP TO ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A SECOND VIOLATION THEREOF; AND UP TO TWO THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT VIOLATION THEREOF. S 2. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law.