By September 1 2015, Dairy Queen will remove soda from its kid’s menu, replacing the sugary beverage with healthier options like milk and water. The fast food chain is following McDonald’s, Burger King, and Wendy’s, who have all made similar moves.
"Under our recommendation, drinks such as milk and bottled water would solely be listed as menu options at DQ locations. I am pleased to inform you that during our most recent meeting, the FAC (Franchise Advisory Council) voted unanimously to remove soft drinks from our kids' menu," William Barrier, executive vice president of product development and quality for Dairy Queen, wrote in the letter, reported CNBC.
The move comes as organizations like Center for Science in the Public Interest, MomsRising.org, and other groups waged campaigns to push Dairy Queen to take the step. Dairy Queen is actually owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and Buffet is well known for his love of Coca-Cola. Plus, he owns 9 percent of the company.
“Dairy Queen deserves credit for being responsive to the concerns of parents, who increasingly want to be able to order off the kids’ menu without having to say ‘no’ to soda,” said CSPI nutrition policy director Margo G. Wootan in a statement. “That DQ’s Franchise Advisory Council voted unanimously to adopt this policy shows the depth of the company’s commitment.”
The mega-chain will soon be offering healthier kid’s meal options including turkey wraps and bananas in addition to burgers and fries. Children and their parents can still make a special request for soda rather than healthier options, but it will no longer be on the menu.
According to The Wall Street Journal, fountain sales of soda accounted for about 25 percent of soda profits last year nationwide.
In the U.S., children average around 224 calories per day from sugary beverages like soda, which is nearly 11 percent of their daily caloric intake. As children grow into teenagers, consumption can turn into a habit, becoming a teen’s top caloric source. In many cases, soda topped pizza as a source of more calories. Sugary beverages are linked to childhood obesity, which also increases the likelihood of becoming an obese adult and developing the chronic diseases that go along with it such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
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Image: Mike Mozart