Applebee’s will become the first family-dining restaurant chain to remove soda from its children’s menus, joining fast-food chains McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Dairy Queen. The move was praised by the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest which in 2014, with allies such as MomsRising.org, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity launched a campaign to encourage all restaurant chains to remove soda and other sugar drinks from kids’ meals and menus.
“Soda and other sugar drinks promote diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and even heart disease, and a kids’ menu is no place for disease-promoting drinks,” said CSPI nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy. “Kudos to Applebee’s for taking this important step to promote children’s health. Other sit-down chains such as Chili’s should follow Applebee’s lead.”
Subway, Chipotle, and Panera also exclude sugar drinks from kids’ menus, as does IHOP, which is owned by Applebee’s parent company DineEquity.
“Responsible restaurants are on the fast track toward making soda for kids a thing of the past,” said Almy.