McDonald's recently announced it would no longer list soda on the kids' meal section of its menu boards. Subway, Chipotle, Arby's, and Panera also have taken soda off their children's menus. But Wendy's still promotes soda, Frosties, and other sugary beverages as a part of its children's menu. Will you help us change that?
Soda and other sugar drinks uniquely promote obesity, diabetes, and heart disease and should no longer be the default option pushed for kids' meals. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of calories in children's diets and provide nearly half of their added sugars intake. Drinking just one sugar drink each day increases a child's odds of becoming obese by 60 percent.
Please sign the petition and ask Wendy's to take sugary beverages off their kids' menus.
I write to ask you to remove soda and other sugary beverages from your children's menu, adopt a comprehensive food marketing to children policy, and continue to make improvements to the nutritional quality of your kids' meals.
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Soda and other sugary drinks promote obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest source of calories in children's diets and provide nearly half of their added sugars intake. McDonald's recently announced it would no longer list soda on the kids' meal section of its menu board. Subway, Chipotle, Arby's, and Panera also are not offering soda as a beverage option on their children's menus. I ask that you do the same.
I also urge you to stop advertising and marketing unhealthy options to children and adopt a clear and transparent policy with nutrition standards for all of the company's marketing to children. Though a number of factors contribute to children's poor diets, food marketing is an important one. The Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that food advertising affects children's food choices, food purchase requests, diets, and health. Both Burger King and McDonald's belong to the Better Business Bureau's Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, a voluntary program that sets nutrition standards for foods marketed to children. Wendy's should belong too.
Finally, I ask that Wendy's continue to improve the nutritional quality of its kids' meals. I commend you for joining the National Restaurant Association's Kids LiveWell program and adding some healthier options to the kids' menu. But I urge you to go beyond the program's minimum requirements by adding more fruit and vegetable options, reducing salt, adding whole grain options, and removing soda and other sugary drinks from your entire children's menu.
Families eat out twice as often as they did in the 1970s, with children eating about a quarter of their calories at fast-food and other restaurants. Given the growing role of restaurant foods in children's diets and the high rates of childhood obesity, restaurants should do more to help children eat better and to make it easier for parents to feed their children healthfully.
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