A decision made Tuesday by San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors may make little kids (and probably some adults) cry. With an un-vetoable vote of 8 to 3, the board banned restaurant chains like McDonald’s and Burger King from giving out toys with “unhealthy” happy meals within San Francisco’s city limits.
The decision is preliminary and will be followed up by a second debate and vote on Tuesday, November 9.
Under the proposed rule, meals deemed healthy can still be packed with action figures. To meet the city’s “healthy” standard a kid’s meal must contain fewer than 640 milligrams of sodium and 600 calories, and under 35 percent of those calories can come from fat. It also has to include a serving of fruit or vegetable with each meal and meet a number of other requirements (pdf).
The majority of McDonald’s Happy Meal options don’t meet these standards, including ALL of the cheeseburger options and any meal with fries. McDonald’s spokesperson told The New York Times they don’t agree with the Supervisors’ stance:
McDonald’s called the bill misguided. “It’s not what our customers want,” said Danya Proud, a spokeswoman for the company, in a statement. “Nor is it something they asked for.”
A McDonald’s in the Dutch city of Rotterdam has decided to crack down on burglaries with a high-tech security system previously used in the city’s jewelry stores. To catch anyone who makes off with the cash from the till (or a bag of Big Macs), the store’s managers installed a device that stealthily sprays synthetic DNA on the thief.
The system involves a small, strategically placed orange box that shoots out synthetic DNA when an employee pulls an unusual trigger: Removing a €10 bill from a special bill clip behind the counter not only activates the device, it also alerts the police that a robbery is in progress. The synthetic DNA spray is visible under ultraviolet light and contains markers that are unique to that location’s device, allowing police to match a suspect with the locale.
The security-conscious McDonald’s advertises the presence of its system with a sign on the door reading, “You Steal, You’re Marked.” The New York Times explains that the effect of the device is, well, subtle:
Remember the guy from Super Size Me who ate about 23,000 Bic Macs and never got fat? Ever wonder how he did it? Turns out he may have been born without the “fat enzyme.”
The enzyme MGAT2 is found in the intestines and determines the fate of our food by regulating how it is metabolized: It either makes fat go straight to your waistline, or converts it into energy. Scientists in California have discovered that when mice are missing the gene for MGAT2, they can eat whatever they want and never have to worry about getting fat.
The University of California at San Francisco knocked out the gene in experimental mice to see how their bodies grew after feeding them different diets. When the normal and experimental mice were fed a diet low in fat, both sets of mice grew the same way. But when the mice were eating a 60 percent fat diet (i.e., a typical American diet), the experimental mice weighed 40 percent less and had 50 percent less fat than the normal mice.