Statement of CSPI Vice President for Nutrition Margo Wootan

Today, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney signed legislation that will ensure that restaurants make healthier beverages the default option for children’s meals. According to the new law, introduced by long-time health and nutrition champion Councilmember Blondell Reynolds-Brown, a restaurant that offers a kids’ meal must offer a healthier beverage (water, nonfat or low-fat milk, or one hundred percent juice) as the default option. This change will prevent unhealthy drinks from being pushed as the automatic choice, while not prohibiting their sale upon request.

CSPI congratulates Philadelphia on joining a dozen other municipalities and the states of California, Hawaii, and Delaware in the effort to stop sugary drinks from being pushed on children. Restaurants around the country should join the growing movement of communities saying no to sugary beverages for kids. Though McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Burger King, and Olive Garden, among two dozen others, have voluntarily removed sugared beverages from their children’s menus, nearly 85 percent of top restaurant chains have not.