There’s proposal to limit fast food toys in one Wisconsin community. The nation’s children at risk for obesity and related health issues, and Superior city Councilor Greg Mertzig, who serves in the Army Reserve, says that can have far-reaching consequences, even for national security. “I have a couple of recruiters that are friends of mine and I spoke with them, and they confirmed that recruiting right now is difficult because young men and women are often out of shape and don’t meet the physical requirements,” said Mertzig, who has served in Iraq and Afghanistan. “Health professionals are telling that obesity and eating unhealthy, being inactive, leads to heart disease which we know is the number one killer in the country.”
Mertzig has written a proposed ordinance, modeled after similar measure in San Francisco, that would ban free toys in meals with more than 600 calories, and 10 percent fat. The meals would also have to be free of trans fat. Mertzig compares free toys with fatty meals to the candy cigarettes that used to be sold to kids. “This was a marketing tactic used by the tobacco industry to get children to think it was cool to smoke. And to a lesser extent I think that the toys put in these unhealthy meals have a similar effect.” The proposed ordinance gets a first reading Tuesday night. Mertzig hopes that if the ordinance eventually passes, it will influence lawmakers in Madison to consider a similar state statute.