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Burger King follows McDonald’s and Wendy’s to drop sugary beverages in kid’s meals marketing campaigns

Heather Suhr
Burger King follows McDonald’s and Wendy’s to drop sugary beverages in kid’s meals marketing campaigns
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The pressure is on for some fast food chains. During the middle of 2013, McDonald’s dropped sugary sodas in kid’s meals and the late last year Wendy’s followed. (1,2) This sneaky change was not officially announced to the public and now Burger King is following their footsteps and dropped sodas from kid’s menus late of last month. (3)

The pressure is on

With the obesity crisis rising in America today, childhood obesity has doubled in children and nearly quadrupled in adolescents. When McDonald’s made the change, they committed to stop marking campaigns that included sodas in kid’s meals and partnered with The Alliance for a Healthy Generation, which has been working to reduce child obesity. (1,4)

Following McDonald’s, the people at Wendy’s decided to make the change as well. As a result, more other businesses such as Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera Bread joined in the effort. This may have left Burger King, one of the biggest fast food burger joint, with some pressure in following the others. (2)

Burger King finally gave in as an “ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs,” Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, told USA Today. (3)

What is being offered instead of soda?

To be clear, this is a marketing effort to encourage healthier drink options for children, but if parents choose to order soda for their children, then they will not be stopped. In the campaigns, drink items such as milk, juice, or water will only be promoted. (1,2,3)

The facts show that sugary beverages promote weight gain and even just one cup of consumption per day can contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, tooth decay, and other health issues. (5) So, this effort with the fast food industry is one step forward to a healthier lifestyle.

Margo Wootan, director of the consumer advocacy group Center for Science in the Public Interest, says she lobbied for two years to get Burger King to make the change and gives this report, “It will help children eat better now, as soda is the leading source of calories in children’s diets. It also helps to set kids on a path toward healthier eating in the future, with fewer kids becoming conditioned to think that soda should be a part of every eating out occasion.” (3)

Sources for this article include:
(1) www.npr.org
(2) consumerist.com
(3) www.huffingtonpost.com
(4) www.healthiergeneration.org
(5) www.cspinet.org

Image source: flic.kr

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