Proposed California law would put restrictions on soda served with kids meals

In an effort to take on California’s obesity problem, lawmakers are considering a bill that would restrict how restaurants promote their kids meal offerings.

Under the bill, SB-1192, restaurants would offer only water or milk on their menus and in their promotional materials for children’s meals. Soda, chocolate milk, and juice would still be available, at no extra cost, but only by request.

“It’s a thoughtful approach to giving families choice, making sure the choice is a healthful one but not taking away the right if they want to order the sugar-sweetened beverage,” Sen. Bill Monning, a Carmel Democrat told CalMatters.

The California Restaurant Association has not taken a position on the bill. The American Beverage Association says they are “committed to increasing access to beverages with less sugar and smaller portions in stores and restaurants.”

Earlier this year, McDonald’s announced they are working to offer new, balanced choices focusing on nutrition in their Happy Meals.

If passed, California would be the first state in the nation with this type of requirement.