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Chile: Fast food companies sued over marketing to children

Date: 2 Aug 2012

McDonald's Restaurant

McDonald's, Burger King and other fast foot restaurants are being sued for being in breach of a new law against the inclusion of toys with children's meals. The action is being taken just three months after the law came into force by its principal author and advocate Sen. Guido Gerardi.

Sen. Gerardi, in his formal complaint filed with the Metropolitan Health Authority, said that the companies knowingly endangered children's health because of the way they marketed unhealthy foods. The new law was prompted by growing levels of childhood obesity in Chile, with 23% of six year olds falling into that category.

The move in Chile mimics measures taken in other parts of the world to try to stem the marketing of fatty foods to children. For instance, a similar law was passed in San Francisco in the US although it has not stopped companies offering toys for sale instead.

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