San Francisco is now the first city in the U.S. to vote against a practice of giving away free toys with unhealthy restaurant kids’ meals.

The city’s Board of Supervisors passed the law on a veto-proof 8-to-3 vote. The law comes to effect on December 1. Similar to an ordinance earlier passed in Santa Clara, it would mean restaurants should meet certain standards before they could be given away with toys.

The National Restaurant Association and McDonald's Corp, a pioneer in such kind of marketing, are currently opposing the bill. "We are extremely disappointed with today's decision. It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for," McDonald's spokeswoman Danya Proud said in a statement.

"Getting a toy with a kid's meal is just one part of a fun, family experience at McDonald's," Proud said.

Aiming to promote healthy eating among kids and in an effort to tackle childhood obesity in the U.S, the law still allows restaurants to give away toys, as far as the kids’ meals have less than 600 calories, and also contains fruits, vegetables and beverages without excessive amounts of sugar.

San Francisco Supervisor Eric Mar, who sponsored the measure, noted that “Rates of obesity in San Francisco are disturbingly high, especially among children of color.” He added that this poses a challenge to the restaurant industry.

According to the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, about fifteen per cent of American kids are overweight. In fact, in some States, the obesity rate could be higher up to 30 per cent.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest has threatened to sue McDonald's earlier this summer, if it did not stop promoting its Happy Meal among kids. The case is still on track and a lawsuit might be filed in the next several weeks.

The Happy Meal concept was introduced as early as 1979 by McDonald’s. U.S. Federal Trade Commission report says that as on 2006, McDonald's chain of fast-food restaurants spent more than $520 million on advertising and toys to promote meals for children. It was noted that ad spend on kids accounted for $1.6 billion.