A Soda-less Happy Meal

A new bill was approved that makes water, milk and juice the “default beverage option” in kids’ meals at restaurants. Are you happy about this?

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Total Votes : 6

Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

New York City took a step toward battling obesity with the passing of their most recent legislation that would eliminate soda and make milk, water, or 100% fruit or vegetable juice the default beverage options in a kid’s meal.

The bill was written up by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), as he hopes to limit the epidemic that is overweightness in New York City.

“Healthy drinks with kid’s meals will be the new normal in New York City no matter where our kids are eating,” he said. “While parents can still order whatever they want, the default will be healthy.”

According to NYC Health, over half the adults in the city are either overweight or obese, and the problem is starting at a younger age.

Nearly half of all elementary school children are an unhealthy weight, with an estimated one in five kids entering elementary school already obese. And the biggest culprit may be the sugar-heavy liquids available for children.

With the rise in the amount families eat out, per USDA, kids are consuming more and more sugary drinks than ever before. It’s also important to note the drop in outdoor activity/exercise for kids.

“For children, the biggest source of added sugars often is not what they eat, it’s what they drink,” said pediatrician Natalie D. Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP, lead author of the policy statement. “On average, children are consuming over 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year. This is enough to fill a bathtub, and it doesn’t even include added sugars from food. As a pediatrician, I am concerned that these sweetened drinks pose real – and preventable – risks to our children’s health, including tooth decay, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. We need broad public policy solutions to reduce children’s access to cheap sugary drinks.”

The New York Academy of Medicine attested that according to their scientific research, a “12 oz serving of regular soda [in a kids meal can contain] more than nine teaspoons of sugar. An average 8-year old would need to walk 70 minutes, or the distance between City Hall and Times Square, to ‘walk the calories off.’”

Fast-food giant McDonald’s removed soda from their Happy Meal back in 2013 and have seen encouraging results since.

“[W]e subsequently saw positive shifts in consumer behavior, and the number of Happy Meals served with water, milk, or juice has since increased by 14 percentage points. As of November 2017, and for the first time, more than half of Happy Meals served in the U.S. included water, milk or juice as the beverage of choice rather than soda and other beverages.”

The one question mark is whether the milk sold will be plain white milk or flavored because flavored milk such as chocolate and strawberry do have substantial amounts of sugar in them, which would partially contradict this legislation.

And on the soda front, this isn’t a full ban. Parents can still order it separately on the side if they wanted to. It’s just a barrier to help push parents and their children in the right direction. You can read more about this story on the New York Post.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

It looks like breakdancing, surfing, skateboarding and sports climbing could be coming to the Olympics in 2024. Yay or nay?

38% Ya, way better
62% Eh, don't care
31% Ya, way better
69% Eh, don't care
50% Ya, way better
50% Eh, don't care

Ya, way better

Eh, don’t care

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