Sugared drinks ban not so sweet for restaurants
Baltimore announced Wednesday that sugared drinks will now be banned from kids’ menus in the entire city.
The city is the largest to do so, passing the Baltimore City Healthy Kids Meals Bill in April and putting it into effect this week. Restaurants who fail to comply will be fined $100, which is not a hefty amount but can certainly add up. Although parents can still order sugared drinks for their children, this still goes a long way toward curbing unhealthy beverages.
Baltimore health commissioner Dr. Leana Wen states,
“Passing a law that creates healthy environments is within everyone’s best interests, and so there are no drawbacks to having healthy options as the default option. What parent doesn’t want their child to drink healthy for the most part? When I was a kid, drinking soda was a treat. You didn’t drink it on a regular basis. And our hope is actually that parents start thinking about how it really should just be a treat and can be a treat when they want it to be a treat. Not something that is always in their face.”
According to experts, this will certainly help increase the health of Baltimore children. A Harvard study discovered that one sugared drink a day can increase the chance of obesity by 60 percent. 33 percent of Baltimore children are obese, so this bill acts to curb that percentage.
However, there are still opponents to the bill. Restaurants have expressed their frustration, explaining that they will need to raise prices on meals if they can no longer make money from sugared drinks. This could cause some restaurants to exit the market and will also increase consumer costs.
Nonetheless, this bill is great for health in Baltimore. Only a few cities in the nation have adopted similar policies, but this will likely open doors to similar movements in big cities.
Featured image via Flickr/poolie