City Council Proposes Taking Sugary Drinks Off Of Youth Restaurant Menus

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The City council is weighing an idea that would take soda off the kid’s menu at all city restaurants.

A new bill on the table for Baltimore City Council plans to make healthy drinks more common. It would require city restaurants to offer water, milk or 100 percent fruit juice as the default choices on the kids menu.

The bill aims to cut down on how much sugar kids drink and give healthy options a boost on menus across the City.

“We just never thought to put it out there as an option. If they want it, they can ask to have it,” said Lori Gjerde of Wicked Sisters.

“Right now, one in four Baltimore City children are drinking at least one sugary beverage a day, and that’s one too many,” said Shawn McIntosh of Sugar Free Kids Maryland.

While it’s a pretty simple change, council members hope it could make a big difference in the health of city kids.

“We know that children throughout our city are suffering from diabetes and other illnesses that are brought on by the over-consumption of sugary drinks, and we think this is a way for us to tackle that issue,” said Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott.

It’s one step towards changing choices that often start at home.

“I just think it’s a matter of moderation and just watching the amount of sugar you give them,” one woman said. “Healthy snacks, but also some unhealthy snacks.”

“No soda in our house, across the board, for both parents and children,” another woman said.

“I think it’s OK in moderation,” one man said.

The council hasn’t voted on the bill yet, but it would include a health code fine for restaurants that don’t ditch the soda on their menus.

The CDC reports about 25 percent of Marylanders drink more than one sugary beverage everyday.

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