New York City council considers measure to improve kids’ meals

Child drinking through straw

Statement of CSPI senior policy associate Hillary Caron

One of the top sources of calories in kids’ diets is also the worst: soda and other sugary drinks are nutritionally worthless and promote weight gain and diabetes. Yet some restaurants still haven’t gotten the message and include a soda or other sugary drink as the default beverage in the meals they offer to children. 

Fortunately, the tide is starting to turn. Several of the biggest chains have already abandoned the practice, and now cities like Baltimore and Louisville have passed measures requiring restaurants to make healthier drinks like water, milk, and 100 percent juice the default choices with kids’ meals.

New York City should be next. City Council member Ben Kallos’s sensible legislation would be of enormous benefit to the health of the city’s children. We urge the Council to adopt his bill, which would be firmly in keeping with New York City’s great tradition of leading on public health.

Contact Info:  Contact Jeff Cronin (jcronin[at] or Henry Duong (hduong[at]