Wilmington City Council has passed an ordinance that aims to limit children’s consumption of sugary beverages.
The new ordinance limits the default beverages served with children’s meals at restaurants in the city to water or flavored water with no added sweeteners, milk — including flavored milk— or fruit juice with no added sweeteners.
The ordinance passed City Council Thursday by a vote of ten ‘yes,’ three ‘absent.’
City Council member Vash Turner introduced the ordinance. He says it allows restaurants to substitute another drink if a customer asks for it.
“We just don’t want them to promote the sugary drinks. If they want it they can ask for it, but we just don’t want it to be on the menu, visible, as a promotion,” said Turner.
Jonathan Kirch is government relations director with the American Health Association in Delaware. He says the impact of sugary drinks on children’s health goes beyond obesity.
“We’ve gotta talk about metabolic syndrome, pediatric dental caries, type-2 diabetes, all of these issues are primarily caused at this point by sugary drink consumption,” said Kirch.
According to City officials, Wilmington is the second East Coast city to pass such an ordinance, joining Baltimore.