October 11, 2018
in Kids' Meals
BIG NEWS out of Delaware! The Wilmington City Council approved an ordinance that requires restaurants in the city to offer healthy beverages as the default drink included in kids’ meals sold at a single price. The ordinance will ensure that water, milk, and 100% fruit juice will become the standard drinks offered with all kids’ meals in the city.
“A major priority included in the Council’s strategic plan is to foster a healthy Wilmington,” said Councilman Vash Turner, 5th District, who sponsored the legislation. “What better place to focus that effort than on our children.”
The ordinance was inspired by a systematic review of interventions aimed at reducing the consumption of sugary drinks.
“Attention to our personal health and certainly the needs of our children should be of utmost importance to all of us through the course of our lives,” said Mayor Mike Purzycki. “At the same time, making sensible nutritional choices can be confusing because we are exposed to so many influences regarding what we eat and drink. I applaud Council’s decision to focus on the issue of healthy beverages and hope that by widening the choices available to parents and their children, the result will be healthier families and lower health care costs.”
Studies have found a significant link between sugary drink consumption and weight gain in children. Soda and sugary beverages are the single largest source of calories in children’s diets and provide nearly half of kids’ added sugar intake.
“Reducing sugary drink consumption has enormous potential with respect to reversing the alarming trends of the past decades in type 2 diabetes, pediatric tooth decay, and heart disease.” said Dr. Robin Horn of the American Heart Association. “By swapping sugary drinks, which are too high in sugar for kids and are harmful to their health, with healthier options such as water, milk and 100% fruit juice we can help change the social norm,” said Dr. Horn.
The cities of Davis, Stockton, Berkeley, Long Beach, and Santa Clara County in California, Baltimore, Maryland, and the State of California have all adopted ordinances providing for healthy default beverages in restaurant children’s meals.
Congratulations to all of the advocates who are working to make Delaware healthier for all children!