The American Heart Association applauds the New York City Council on passing Int. 1064, a bill that ensures that water, milk, 100 percent fruit juice and flavored water without added sweeteners are the preferred options for all restaurant kids’ meals offered in New York City. The American Heart Association supports this bill and applauds Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Mark Levine and Council Member Ben Kallos for championing this issue. The Association is optimistic that Mayor Bill de Blasio will move quickly to sign this bill into law.
“Thank you to the New York City Council for approving this potentially lifesaving legislation. As a mother who has fought a long battle with my weight, it’s important to me that my son lives a healthy life,” said Annabelle Jimenez, a mother from Queens and advocate for the American Heart Association. “I want my son and all kids in New York City to have a healthy future. Reducing the amount of sugary drinks they consume can help that future come true.”
The American Heart Association recommends that children consume no more than one small 8-ounce sugary drink per week. However, kids today are consuming up to 10 times that amount—in fact, kids on average consume more than 30 gallons of sugary drinks every year, which can have significant repercussions for their health.
“Improving healthy options on restaurant menus will help improve diet quality and cultivate lifelong healthy eating behaviors,” said LeWanza Harris, MD, MPH, American Heart Association NYC Board Member and Family Medicine Physician at Columbia University Irving Medical Center. “Kids in our city drink too much sugar and one of the major contributing factors is the overconsumption of sugary drinks served with children’s meals in restaurants. I, too, support this bill aimed at empowering parents and helping children grow up at a healthy weight.”