The Center for Science in the Public Interest is backing a lawsuit filed by a Sacramento, Calif., woman who complains that McDonald's inclusion of toys in its Happy Meals has caused her six-year-old daughter to develop a preference for the product. The food in a Happy Meal consists of a McDonald's hamburger, small french fries or apple slices, and either a soft drink, low fat milk or apple juice.

According to CSPI, the plaintiff, Monet Parham, says: "I am concerned about the health of my children and feel that McDonald's should be a very limited part of their diet and their childhood experience. But as other busy, working moms and dads know, we have to say 'no' to our young children 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."


In previous fast-food litigation, CSPI sued KFC for using partially hydrogenated oil when deep-frying its chickens. CSPI dropped that lawsuit when the company agreed to phase out partially hydrogenated oils.