Statement of CSPI Policy Associate Sara Ribakove

Restaurant chains that serve soda or other sugary drinks as the default drink with kids' meals make life a bit more difficult for parents. But the Cleveland City Council has made life a bit easier, at least for Cleveland’s parents, by passing legislation that makes water, low-fat milk, or 100 percent fruit juice the default choice for meals marketed to kids. CSPI appreciates the leadership of Council President Kevin Kelley and Councilman Blaine Griffin, and the advocacy of the Cleveland American Heart Association in securing this victory for Cleveland families.

Cleveland now joins cities like BaltimorePhiladelphia and Louisville and states like California, Hawaii, and Delaware—all of whom have acted to make restaurant meals healthier for kids. More than ever, parents want to reduce their kids’ risk of diabetes and obesity. Replacing soda and other drinks with healthier alternatives is a great place to start.