IRVINE, Calif., July 23 (UPI) -- Taco Bell announced Tuesday it will discontinue its kid's meals, prepackaged meals with accompanying toys, becoming the first fast-food chain to drop the item.
In a statement, Taco Bell, a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., said restaurants will begin removal of the selection in July, with national implementation to be completed by January.
"Kid's meals and toys simply no longer make sense for us," Taco Bell Chief Executive Officer Greg Creed said in the statement.
Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, hailed the decision, saying in a statement the company is "taking a constructive step forward by no longer using toys to encourage kids to pester their parents to go to that restaurant."
She urged Taco Bell's competitors to follow suit.
Kid's meals have also been criticized by public health groups for contributing to childhood obesity by encouraging young customers to demand the high-calorie meals, CNN noted.