A bill in New Hampshire wouldn't allow for soda as a beverage choice for kids' meals at restaurants, but some parents find this insulting.
The bill, which is before a state House committee, would apply to restaurants that serve children's meals that include food and a beverage for one price. The move comes amid a push in New Hampshire and other states to crack down on sugary beverages, the concern being they contribute to obesity and other health problems. Only milk, juice, plain water, or flavored water with no sweeteners would be allowed under the New Hampshire bill.
"This is so insulting to parents," responds Julie Gunlock, senior fellow at the Independent Women's Forum (IWF). "Why in the world does the state need to in any way get involved in this issue?
"I have two underweight children," she continues. "If I decide that I'm going to allow my children to have a higher-calorie beverage at dinner, that is my choice; and the idea that the state would prevent restaurants from offering things that people want is just yet more insanity from an overly bloated government."
Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center, says what makes this bill worse is that the government has the science wrong.
"[The bill] actually says the soda in that 'happy meal' or kids meal can be replaced with 100-percent juice, which calorically is just about the same as a soda and offers no real additional nutrients, [except] maybe some vitamin C, which kids are not deficient in anyway if they're eating a diet with fruits and vegetables," he explains.
"So it actually perpetuates the idea that it's okay ... or somehow it is healthy for kids to drink apple juice, which from a calorie perspective is just about the same as a soda. It's part of this campaign against not only sodas, but the campaign against parents being able to make choices for their own children."
Meanwhile, The Associated Pressreports that many restaurants are already moving away from offering soda in kids' meals.
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