Fast food is one of the biggest perceived evils in consumer America, often being blamed for the United States’ current obesity epidemic that’s led to free health insurance for kids endangered by fatty foods. The cheapest, tastiest, and most convenient food often comes from places like McDonalds and Burger King, and with some value meals packing upwards of 1,500 calories, it’s easy to see why the fast food industry has been demonized in recent years. One fast food company, however, has found a subtle way to cut down on childhood obesity, and it’s as simple as taking soda out of plain sight.
Wendy’s will soon remove soft drinks for their kid’s menus in an attempt to give parents the chance to suggest a healthier alternative. Healthier kids are always a good thing, especially since it can lower premiums for health insurance for children. Kids often cling to the idea of getting a sugary soda once they see it on their side of the menu, but with the option removed, parents will have a chance to avoid the inevitable temper tantrums that come when they try to help their kids make more healthy dietary decisions. Wendy’s will continue to sell soft drinks to children upon request, but once the option is taken off of the menu, it should be easier to help kids create healthy tastes and habits.
The Center for Science in Public Interest announced this new information on January 15th, with CSPI Senior Nutrition Policy Counsel Jessica Almy saying, “While parents bear most of the responsibility for feeding their children well, restaurant chains also need to do their part. Restaurants should not be setting parents up for a fight by bundling soda with meal options designed for kids. Wendy’s is taking a responsible step forward that will improve children’s health and make it easier for parents to make healthy choices for their children.”
A single kid-sized soda may not seem like a big deal until you consider research published in the Lancet journal indicating that just one sugary drink a day increases a child’s chance of obesity by a whopping 60%. Now, instead of setting parents up for a fight with their child over which beverage they should get, children are simply given the choice between 1% milk, bottled water, and 100% fruit juice. All three of these options are drastically healthier than soda, and once a kid is hooked, they might forget about the soda option altogether. Cutting soda from a child’s diet stands to lower their risk of obesity drastically, and with the myriad of life-threatening diseases that come with obesity, it seems like Wendy’s is fighting the good fight.
Several other fast food businesses are in the process of removing soft drinks from kids meals, but since many chains draw considerable profits from these unhealthy beverages, it’s been a difficult decision. McDonalds promised to eliminate soft drinks from kid’s menus in 2013, and Burger King is currently in the process of deciding whether or not to make the change.
How do you think fast food restaurants can help fight the obesity epidemic? How do you feel about the removal of certain fatty items? Let us know in the comments section below!