Popular restaurants IHOP and Applebee's have removed soft drinks from their children's menu.
"While soft drinks are still available by request, we believe this is a small step in assisting parents when dining out, as parents are in the best position to determine the appropriate food and beverage choices for their children," said Tom Linafelt, spokesman for DineEquity, the company that owns both chains, reports CNN Money.
IHOP and Applebees are just two of many organizations attempting to reduce children's soft drink intake. From schools to fast food chains like Burger King, Subway, Wendy's and McDonalds, many are removing soda from menus or meal deals.
Groups such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest praised the move, according to The Consumerist.
“Soda and other sugar drinks promote diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and even heart disease, and a kids’ menu is no place for disease-promoting drinks,” CSPI nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy said in a statement. “Kudos to Applebee’s for taking this important step to promote children’s health.”
However, the Food Justice campaign from Momsrising.org urged these restaurants and others to continue to do more.
“While we are encouraged by DineEquity and other restaurants taking this important step, we are still reaching for a future where restaurants do even more to offer healthy options for children and adults by serving whole grain rolls, providing more fruit and vegetable options, reducing sodium across the menu, and adopting a comprehensive policy to limit the marketing of unhealthy food to children,” the group said in a statement. "However, until that day comes, we are bolstered by these positive movements in the right direction and we will continue to make our voices heard on this important issue."
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that in the past three decades, childhood obesity has doubled. Roughly twenty percent of American children are now considered obese.