Establishments are removing fizzy drink options from children’s menus to make it easier for kids to pick healthier options.
Parents should have an easier time getting their children to consume fruit juice or water, now that a number of popular fast food chains have removed soda from the kids’ menu. While children and parents can still request their favorite bubbly beverage, the option won’t be printed on the menus for children.
CNN reports that the move is the latest to trim back on soft drink consumption by children. A number of school districts have pulled soda machines from school cafeterias and menus, and Burger King, Wendy’s, and McDonald’s removed the options from their menus for kids last year. Now, Applebee’s and IHOP have followed suit.
Said Tom Linafelt, of DineEquity (which owns both companies):
“While soft drinks are still available by request, we believe this is a small step in assisting parents when dining out, as parents are in the best position to determine the appropriate food and beverage choices for their children.”
When McDonald’s nixed the soda option from its kids’ menu last year, for the first time, less than half of the children’s Happy Meals it sold contained fizzy drinks.
All of the establishments hope that the change will make it easier for parents to negotiate with children to pick healthier options if they are limited to what is available to them on the menu. With 1 in 5 children categorized as obese in the U.S. and 1 in 3 overweight, the change comes at a necessary time.
According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of obese adolescents has quadrupled in the past 30 years due to ever-increasing caloric meals and sedentary lifestyles. About 70% of obese children under the age of 18 are at risk for cardiovascular disease and even suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Worse, obesity in childhood is linked to obesity in adulthood, as well as many different types of cancers. In addition, the high phosphorous, high sugar drinks promote the development of Diabetes.
By eating a wholesome, plant-based diet and sticking to water, fresh-squeezed juices, and smoothies, kids will receive all the nourishment they need and prevent diseases of affluence from developing later on in life.