City Councilman Pushes For Healthier Drink Options In Kids’ Meals

March 26, 2019 - 3:37 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There’s a new initiative at City Hall to make kids’ meals in New York City healthier.

As WCBS 880’s Mike Sugerman reports, many children push their parents for kids’ meals because of the sugary sodas that automatically come with the deal.

However, recent studies have shown that one-fifth of kindergartners, especially in poor neighborhoods, are overweight. Additionally, nearly half of all elementary school children are not at a healthy weight, according to the city’s Department of Health.

“One of the leading causes of it is sugary drink consumption, according to Robin Vitale, of the American Heart Association.

City Councilman Ben Kallos is now trying to deter those statistics by requiring restaurants to stop automatically offering soda to children.

“All 24,000 restaurants in New York City, if they have a kids’ meal, would have healthy beverages as the default option,” he says.

Instead, the default drinks for children would be milk, water and juice.

Kallos introduced the bill in August 2018 and, in the same month, gained the support of Council Speaker Corey Johnson.

Other bills dealing with sodas in the city have been attacked by the American Beverage Association, but this particular bill has gained the support of the organization.