Dairy Queen nixes sugary drinks on kids' menu

Dairy Queen nixes sugary drinks on kids' menu

(Pinkcandy/Shutterstock.com)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Finish that soda, junior.

Dairy Queen is removing sugary drinks from its children's menu, bowing to a request from health advocates.

The ice-cream and fast-food chain will remove soft drinks, including the neon colored Arctic Rush frozen beverage, from its kids' menu and replace them with healthier options such as bottled water and milk.

The move was announced by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which said McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's have all made similar moves.

"Dairy Queen deserves credit for being responsive to the concerns of parents, who increasingly want to be able to order off the kids' menu without having to say 'no' to soda," said CSPI nutrition policy director Margo Wootan.

DQ, as the company known, is owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway. Nearly all of its 6,400 locations are operated as franchises. But the company's franchise committee unanimously agreed to the menu change, which will take effect in September.

It's part of a shift in the food industry as consumers demand better options at fast-food chains and the grocery store.

How much sugar should your kid have per day?
  • Preschoolers: If eating 1,200 to 1,400 calories per day, limit sugar to 4 teaspoons (16 grams) per day

  • Children ages 4 to 8: If eating 1,600 calories per day, limit sugar to 3 teaspoons (12 grams) a day. (To fit in all the nutritional requirements for this age group, there are fewer calories available for added sugar)

  • Pre-teen and teens: If eating 1,800 to 2,000 calories per day, limit sugar to 5 to 8 teaspoons (20 to 32 grams) per day.

  • Reduce sugar intake in one easy step by eliminating sodas, fruit drinks and sports drinks.

    Source: bjcschooloutreach.org

    Restaurant chains like Chipotle and Panera Bread have been the most aggressive, eliminating genetically-modified produce and artificial additives.

    Big food companies have also been moving that direction. Kraft Foods, for example, removed artificial colors from its macaroni and cheese, famous for its bright orange color.

    However, public health advocates say the restaurant industry needs to do more. CSPI says 97 percent of the food on children's menus at the top restaurant chains are unhealthy.

    "One by one, restaurants are listening to parents and public health experts and starting to do their part to help keep kids healthy, but we aren't done yet," said Monifa Bandele, a director with the group MomsRising.org.

    Specifically, the group called on Applebee's and Chili's to show the same kind of "corporate responsibility" as DQ.

    Whatever changes are made at DQ, the company's owner is still a big fan of sweets and soda.

    Buffett was asked recently about his investments in companies that sell sugary food and beverages. In addition to DQ, Berkshire owns See's Candy and has a large stake in Coke.

    But the billionaire investing guru was unrepentant about his love for junk food. He joked that one-quarter of all the calories he gets are from Coke products and added that he never sees anyone smiling at Whole Foods.

    The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2015 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

    Related Links

    Related Stories

    Ben Rooney

      SIGN UP FOR THE KSL.COM NEWSLETTER

      Catch up on the top news and features from KSL.com, sent weekly.
      By subscribing, you acknowledge and agree to KSL.com's Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

      KSL Weather Forecast