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Daly City Council Exploring Mechanisms to Lower the Consumption of Sugary Drinks Among Children 

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The Daly City Council is exploring the adoption of a Healthy Default Beverages in Kids’ Meals ordinance. This type of policy has shown to lower the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages. The City could require restaurants that serve combination kid’s meals to replace sugary beverages with healthier options such as water and low-fat milk as the default offered with children’s meals. Other beverages would remain available upon request at no additional cost.   

The cities of Davis, Stockton and Perris have already adopted similar measures. Also, few large private companies have already adopted this practice such as the Disney Corporation that, in 2008, reported that at its American resorts 68 percent of beverage orders included the default healthier option.[i]

Lowering the consumption of sugary drinks among children is key to preventing health problems. According to the 2014 California Health Interview Survey, 22.3% percent of children in Daly City between the ages of 2 and 11 are overweight or obese for their age – putting them at an increased risk for serious health problems in adulthood, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma and cancer. We commend Daly City Council for exploring mechanisms to optimize the health of Daly City children, and applaud the efforts of the Youth Leadership Institute and Public Health Advocates for shepherding this issue.

[i] The Walt Disney Company 2008 Corporate Responsibility Report, p. 19, chart 6, available at:
http://thewaltdisneycompany.com/sites/default/files/reports/Disney_CR_Report_2008.pdf.

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