There are new changes in New Orleans when it comes to children’s fast food meals. Now, they will have to come with a healthy beverage after a new city council ordinance has been put into place to fight childhood obesity.
The ordinance, called The Healthy Kids’ Meal Beverage Ordinance, passed last January. It went into effect on Sunday and requires that children’s meal be served with water, milk, or 100% fruit juice as drink choices.
“We know that sugar-sweetened beverages are the primary source of added sugar in the diets of children, and excess sugar intake contributes to diet-related diseases, like diabetes and heart disease, later in life,” stated a spokesperson with the New Orleans Health Department.
“Introducing our kids to small steps towards healthier habits can be important for lifelong better health. This ordinance will help ensure healthy options are the default for kids,” said the city’s health director.
Reports indicate that children aged 2 to 4 in New Orleans have a 14% obesity rate.
Kids and parents will still be able to get sugary beverages off the menu, but they won’t be a part of the kids’ meals.
It will be the responsibility of the Health Department to ensure that guidelines are being followed. The first violation within a year will lead to more education. The second violation will result in a warning, and the third violation will come with a $200 fine.