California bill seeks to restrict restaurants serving kids sugary drinks

A California bill seeking to limit restaurants to serving children water or unflavored milk with their meals passed the Assembly this week and is now making its way to Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) desk.

The bill, aimed at combating childhood obesity, would not preclude children or parents from ordering alternatives, however, according to ABC 7.

If Brown signs the bill into law, California would be the first state to have such a law, CBS Sacramento affiliate KOVR reported.

According to CBS, several California cities have already passed similar restrictions, as have other cities across the U.S. 

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The American Cancer Society was a fervent supporter of the bill, CBS reports.  

“Some of these kids are drinking up to three sodas a day. This is setting them up for tremendous cancer risks down the road,” Stephanie Winn of the American Cancer Society told KOVR. “Because now we know that 20 percent of all cancers are tied to being overweight.”

A study from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that two-thirds of children ages 2 to 19 drink at least one sugary beverage a day. The CDC also found an association between frequent soda consumption and obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, nonalcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, CBS News reported.

However, some parents have balked at the idea of state intervention into their parenting.

“I think the government shouldn't determine what's available when I as a mother know what's best with my child," Inez Deocio said, according to CBS.

The Independent Journal Review reported that another California parent, Ken Barnes, said Thursday, “Why is this law even necessary? I’m old enough to remember when my mom would say ‘put down that soda, drink some water if you’re thirsty.' ”