One Small Step: Wendy’s Removes Soda from Kid’s Meals

In response to pressure from concerned parents and public interest groups, the Wendy’s franchise has taken a step towards making their Kid’s Meals healthier: cutting out the soda. While this is significant, as soda is absolutely terrible, we as a nation need to change our attitude about fast food if we wish to see any improvements in our children’s health.

According to Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) senior nutrition policy counsel, Jessica Almy:

“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.”

Soda is indeed a public health plague, especially for kids. The fizzy stuff – both diet and regular – has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, tooth decay, depression and immune system suppression. As we previously reported, research has linked drinking just one 20-ounce soda per day with aging five years. As children’s minds and bodies are still developing, soda is even more dangerous for them.

hamburger with fries and onion ringsHowever, even without the soda, the Kid’s Meal items at Wendy’s are still filled with chemical additives and unhealthy fats, which have no place in their growing bodies. Unfortunately, as we explored in an earlier article, about 25 percent of kids’ daily calories come from restaurants nowadays – usually fast food restaurants. Of these fast food restaurants, most have been found to fall short of even the most lax of nutritional standards.

So, while it is encouraging to see Big Food conglomerates like Wendy’s leaving the soda off the Kid’s Menu, the way to actually raise healthier kids is to be firm in the decision not to visit fast food establishments in the first place – and especially not to feed them to our children.

After all, it is us parents who teach our children the habits that they will carry through to their adult lives. If we don’t want fast food in their future, we need to lead by example.

-The Alternative Daily


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