Eric Mar, the San Francisco supervisor who sponsored the ordinance, called the 10-cent charge a "marketing ploy," but said he doesn't plan to make any changes in the ordinance to address the tactic.
The goal of the law was not to micromanage fast-food chains but to raise awareness about the nutritional content of the food, he said, pointing to McDonald's switch to apples and smaller portions of french fries in Happy Meals as an example of the success of the law.
"We feel that our efforts to create healthier options forced the industry to acknowledge their role in childhood obesity," he said about the law that also goes into effect Thursday.
Scott Rodrick, who owns 10 of the 19 McDonald's franchises in the city, said the 10-cent charge was intended to adhere to the letter of the law while giving consumers what they want.
All those dimes will go to help build a new Ronald McDonald House to accommodate families of sick children at the new University of California, San Francisco hospital now under construction.
(Image via: http://www.mcdonalds.com/)