Fast food chains have been under increasing pressure from parents, advocacy brands and lawmakers to make their menus more kid friendly. Burger King, as a part of their response, have decided to take soft drinks off their kids’ menu and replace it instead with fat-free milk, low-fat chocolate milk and 100% apple juice. Though kids will still be able to buy some pop if they wish to, it won’t be listed anymore on the kids’ menu.
McDonald’s had been one of the trendsetters in this direction, having taken the step way back in 2013. Earlier this year, Wendy’s made the same move too. Burger King itself had made significant changes to their health menu long time back (2007) by replacing their French fries with apple slices and set limits for fat and calories.
Major fast food chains are coming under flak from consumers and activists and are being forced to improve the quality of their food. McDonald’s had, as a result, vowed to eliminate human antibiotics from its chicken supply over the next two years last week. Dunkin’ Donuts too had agreed to phase out a controversial whitening agent which was a key ingredient used in the powdered sugar on its lip smacking looking fare.
Burger King made the change, “as part of our ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs,” said Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, in an e-mailed statement to USA TODAY.
Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, says her group lobbied for a full two years, and helped bring about this menu change.
“It will help children eat better now, as soda is the leading source of calories in children’s diets. It also helps to set kids on a path toward healthier eating in the future, with fewer kids becoming conditioned to think that soda should be a part of every eating out occasion,” says Wootan.
Sugar laden soft drinks are one of the main culprits contributing to obesity among kids, in addition to a lot many other health related problems. The percentage of obese kids in the US has risen sharply over the last three decades according to figures released by the CDC.