California’s legislature just passed a bill to prevent restaurants from offering soda and other sugar-added drinks to children–supposedly designed to prevent childhood obesity. 

U.S. News and World Report writes:

The bill was introduced in response to a rise in obesity, which, according to the legislation, increased 250 percent in the state from 1990 to 2016. Lawmakers are hoping the provisions in the bill will address obesity and obesity-related medical conditions, such as diabetes, which “have serious economic costs.”

“Many families lack adequate time to obtain and prepare healthy food, making dining out an appealing and often necessary option. As a result, more than one-half of food expenditures in the United States are spent outside the home,” the bill states. “Nationwide, American children eat 25 percent of their calories at fast food and other restaurants. Children consume almost twice as many calories when they eat a meal at a restaurant as they do when they eat at home.”

Senate Bill 1192 states that any restaurant offering a children’s meal must offer water, sparkling water or flavored water with no added natural or artificial sweeteners, unflavored milk and a non-dairy alternative that is no more than 130 calories as the standard drink option.

The bill was overwhelmingly approved 32 to 7 in the California Senate in May and passed the Assembly 46 to 26. 

The bill will go into law if signed by Governor Jerry Brown.

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