Philadelphia City Council Passes Legislation Requiring Healthy Beverage Options on Children’s Meals

“The American Heart Association would like to applaud Philadelphia City Council, and in particular Councilmember Reynolds Brown, for passing legislation that will require restaurants to make healthy beverages the default option for menu items designated for children,” stated Jacob Zychick, Community Advocacy Director in Philadelphia.

According to this legislation, a food service establishment that offers a children’s meal must first offer a healthy beverage choice, including water, nonfat milk, or one hundred percent juice. This change to the menu will not prohibit the restaurant from selling, or a customer from purchasing, a beverage other than these healthy options. Drinking just one 12-ounce can of soda every day for a year is equal to 55,000 calories, or 15 pounds a year.

Approximately 41 percent of youth aged 6-17 in the City of Philadelphia are overweight or obese, which is 8 percent more than the national average. Data reveals that overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become overweight or obese adults.

“With one in five children impacted by obesity, we need to continue the proactive approach to improve health disparities seen in our city. We believe that this legislation is an important step to improve the healthy options that many families purchase in our city and would make the healthier choice the easier choice for many” Jacob Zychick, continued.

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