Policy Summary

San Francisco's Healthy Food Incentive Ordinance allows incentive items (such as a toy) to be given away with the purchase of a meal, food, or beverage only if the meal/food/beverage meets specific nutrition standards.

Background Information

State California
Jurisdiction Name San Francisco
Jurisdiction Type City, County,
Population Size 800,000+
Legal Strategies
  • Requires something, sets standards
  • Prohibits/discourages something
Reach Community-wide
Food System Category Distribute; Get;

Policy Details

Refers to priority populations?

Children and adolescents (471.2), WIC families (471.1(7))

Emergency management?
Health-related linkage?

The law is part of the Health Code. Findings repeatedly refer to children and youth and adults struggling with obesity and overweight, unhealthy weights, and chronic diseases, including heart disease (including elevated cholesterol levels, triglyceride levels, and blood pressure), diabetes, cancer, impaired glucose tolerance. Law also refers to: healthy nutritional food, healthy food choices, fast food meal/snack, sugar-sweetened beverages, nutritional standards, fat and saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, calories, fruits and vegetables (Sec. 471.1; Sec. 471.4)

Environmental linkage?

Economic linkage?

High economic costs of healthcare and loss of productivity 471.1(6); WIC program (471.1(7))

Includes findings?

Includes long list of findings, referring to health statistics, economic impact data, and survey data specific to San Francisco. Also includes information about exisitng programs and resources dedicated to addressing and combating chronic diseases in SF, and how toys and other incentives impact food and beverage purchasing choices among children (Sec. 471.1).

Has a stated intent or purpose?

"The intent of this Ordinance is to improve the health of children and adolescents in San Francisco by setting healthy nutritional standards for children's meals sold at restaurants in combination with free toys or other incentive items. These standards will support families seeking healthy eating choices for their children by permitting restaurants to give away free toys and other incentive items in combination with foods only if those foods meet specified nutritional criteria. This Ordinance imposes no requirements or regulations for the advertising or labeling of food or beverages or the disclosure of ingredients." Sec 471.2

Includes definitions?

Sec. 471.3

Addresses implementation?

Enforcement provisions?

The Director of the public health department may issue administrative citations. San Francisco Administrative Code Chapter 100, "Procedures Governing the Imposition of Administrative Fines," is incorporated by reference (471.5)

Evaluation component?

Requires extra investment?

Code context and ordinance history

San Francisco Health Code, Art. 8 (Food and Food Products); Added by Healthy Food Incentives Ordinance, Ord. 290-10, File No. 101096; Eff. 12/1/2011).


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