Legislation Requiring Healthful Default Beverages in Children's Meals Heads to Governor's Desk

August 21, 2018
(SACRAMENTO, CA) – Today, Senate Bill (SB) 1192 by Senator Bill Monning (D-Carmel) passed off of the Senate Floor and is on its way to Governor Brown’s desk.  
SB 1192 requires a restaurant, which serves a meal primarily targeted and marketed to children, to make the default drink option served in bundled meals a healthful beverage - water, sparkling water, flavored water with no added sweeteners, or milk.
“Our state is in the midst of a public health crisis where rates of preventable health conditions like obesity and Type-2 Diabetes are skyrocketing, due in large part to increased consumption of sugary beverages,” Senator Monning said.  “SB 1192 is one piece of a statewide public health strategy to better inform consumers about the unique impacts that sugary beverages have on their health and that of their families.” 
Consumers are more likely to choose the unhealthful default beverage option offered with kids’ meals rather than request an alternative option, and recent studies have shown as many as 34% of children consume fast food on a given day.  Most kids’ meals include a sugary drink that can contain more than the weekly amount of sugar recommended for children.  
A statewide policy on healthful default beverage options will have a direct impact on families making healthier and more nutritious choices when they choose to eat outside of the home.  Customers can still explicitly ask to replace the healthful drink with a sugary beverage at no cost, but the default beverage offered in a children’s meal must be a healthful option.