A newly proposed bill in Connecticut could remove sugary beverages from children’s menus in restaurants.
House Bill No. 7006 seeks to prohibit eateries from including soft drinks, as well as chocolate milk and juice beverages, on children’s menus.
“On and after January 1, 2020, no beverage listed or displayed on a children’s menu shall be a beverage other than water, sparkling water, flavored water with no added sweeteners, unflavored milk or a nondairy milk alternative,” the bill reads.
However, the removal of sweet drinks from the children’s menu does not prohibit customers from purchasing the beverage at all. Instead, it just has to be purchased from the regular menu.
“Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a restaurant from selling or a customer from purchasing a beverage that does not appear on a children’s menu if such beverage is requested by the customer,” it reads.
The bill states that putting the regulations into action would require regular checks of the menus by health inspectors, as well as implementation of inspection and enforcement procedures by the Commissioner of Public Health.
The movement to make children’s menus healthier has been making its way around the country. Experts say providing unhealthy children’s options prepares kids for an entire life of unhealthy choices.
“Kids are not born with an innate desire for chicken nuggets, french fries and a soda,” Margo Wootan, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy nonprofit in Washington, D.C., recently told the Chicago Tribune. “That is a result of billions of dollars’ worth of marketing that has made it the idea of what kid food is.”
Connecticut has had luck in the past minimizing the consumption of sugary beverages by young people. A 2006 law banned the sale of soda and other sugary drinks in the state’s public schools.
If passed, the new Connecticut bill would go into action Jan. 1, 2020.