The city of Baltimore is one step closer to remove sugary drink options from kids' meal.
In it's second reading the Baltimore City Council unanimously voted Monday for the Healthy Kids’ Meal Bill (17-0152). The bill sponsored by Councilmember Brandon Scott would make water, milk and 100% fruit juice and sparkling water the default beverage options for all restaurants kids’ meals in the city of Baltimore at no extra charge. Upon request, families would be able to order other drinks.
#HealthyKidsBmore has been passed unanimously by the City Council! It now goes to 3rd Reader and must be approved by @MayorPugh50. Thanks to @BMore_Healthy, @CouncilmanBMS and all other supporters! pic.twitter.com/IOfu9zV6hz
— Sugar Free Kids (@SugarFreeKidsMD) February 26, 2018
Heath leaders said removing the overconsumption of sugar from children diets will help eliminate high rates of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and tooth decay. In Baltimore alone, one in four children drinks at least one soda each day. Experts recommend only six teaspoons of added sugar per day, the average soda contains 6.6 teaspoons.
— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) February 26, 2018
According to Sugar Free Kids Maryland if passed Baltimore becomes the largest American city to pass such legislation and the first on the east coast. Many local restaurants have concerns of the negative impact this law could have on businesses however large chains such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Burger King, IHOP and Applebee’s have chosen to remove sugary drinks from their kids’ menus since 2015 with high levels of success.
The bill awaits Mayor Catherine Pugh signature for final approval.