On Jan. 1, 2019, a new law aiming to limit children’s intake of sugary beverages became effective. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed the “Children’s Meals” law on Sept. 20, 2018, in an effort to combat the rising obesity rate in California, which increased 250 percent between 1990 and 2016. The Children’s Meals law modifies the California Health and Safety Code to require that all California restaurants make the default beverages offered on a children’s menu: (1) water, sparkling water, or flavored water, with no added natural or artificial sweeteners; or (2) unflavored milk or a non-dairy milk alternative with no more than 130 calories per container or serving. Restaurants in California may provide or sell alternative beverages to children, but only upon the customer’s request.
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