Milk, Water Will Be Default Kids’ Meal Drink Options at California Restaurants Starting in 2019

Dhaija Smith, 4, finishes her milk during breakfast with her classmates at the Brown E. Moore Head Start Center on July 22, 2003, in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Credit: Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images)

Dhaija Smith, 4, finishes her milk during breakfast with her classmates at the Brown E. Moore Head Start Center on July 22, 2003, in Shreveport, Louisiana. (Credit: Mario Villafuerte / Getty Images)

Restaurants in California that sell special meals for children will have to offer milk or water as the default drink option beginning in 2019, making sodas and sugary drinks available only by request.

The law, signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown, follows ordinances enacted in a number of cities and counties around the state in recent years. Some fast-food and dine-in restaurants have voluntarily changed their kids’ meals, and the new law had no formal opposition as it made its way through the California Legislature.

“Our state is in the midst of a public health crisis where rates of preventable health conditions like obesity and Type-2 Diabetes are skyrocketing, due in large part to increased consumption of sugary beverages,” state Sen. Bill Monning (D-Carmel), the law’s author, said in a written statement.

“This bill is an important part of a statewide public health strategy that will better inform consumers about the unique impacts that sugary beverages have on their health and that of their children.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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