Last month, Daly City joined the California cities of Berkeley, Cathedral City, Davis, Long Beach, Perris and Stockton, in adopting ordinances that make healthy drinks the default beverage in children’s meal combos. New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Massachusetts all have similar proposals that look at making kids meals healthier with healthy default beverage options, and/or healthier food choices.
Several restaurant chains have made changes to their kids meal combos as a corporate initiative to help fight the continued rise of diabetes, obesity, and other preventable chronic diseases. In a statement released by McDonald’s today, McDonald’s announced that they are committed to making “improvements to the Happy Meal menu across 120 markets to offer more balanced meals, simplify ingredients, continue to be transparent with Happy Meal nutrition information, reinforce responsible marketing to children, and leverage innovative marketing to help impact the purchase of foods and beverages that contain recommended food groups in Happy Meals.”
“We are pleased to see McDonald’s be a leader in addressing the nutrition standards in restaurant kids meals,” said Dr. Flojaune Cofer, Director of State Policy & Research for Public Health Advocates. “Industry changes are a step in the right direction. Among the most promising change is making water the default beverage because drinks contribute significantly to the increase in sugar and calorie consumption among kids and changing the default is a low-cost way to have a big impact.
There is already great momentum for changing the default drink at the local level and we hope to see these policies expand to the rest of the state.”
For the full McDonald’s press release, please visit the corporate site here.