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Monifa Bandele's picture

Ever have someone tell you they've got "sugar" when you asked how they are doing? It's an old Southern term that means he/she is sick, stricken with a form of diabetes, and in most cases, type 2. Type 2 diabetes is a debilitating, life altering, deadly and preventable disease. For decades, it was considered a condition developed in middle-aged adults who had experienced a lifetime of nutrition imbalances.

Sadly, there is a new growing demographic of people afflicted with this form of diabetes: our children. Their little bodies are facing the potential harsh health complications that come with type 2 diabetes, including amputations, organ failure and early death. One of the many causes of developing type 2 diabetes is being overweight or obese.

Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are the single largest source of added sugar in children’s diets. And, they are the third highest source of kids’ calories overall. (1) So why is soda the default beverage in many children's meals at fast food restaurants?

Now is the time to take a stand. Tell restaurants Wendy's and Burger King that moms want soda out of kids' meals.

Moms have incredible consumer power. In fact, women make nearly three-quarters of purchasing decisions. So when we all come together, when we all sign on to the same letter, then we can move mountains--and move soda out of kids' meals.

So please also take a moment to forward this email around, and to post the action link on Facebook and Twitter, to allow as many people as possible to sign on to stop soda from being the default beverage in kids' meals. The more, the merrier!

When moms talk, companies listen.

Last week, the New York Times published results from the New England Journal of Medicine that found that obesity is established as early as kindergarten. (2) According to the Centers for Disease Control, nearly 25 percent of Black girls ages six to eleven are overweight or obese. (3)

Study after study shows that soda and other sugary drinks promote obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Drinking just one additional sugary drink every day increases a child’s odds of becoming obese. (4) With one in three children overweight or obese in the United States (5), it no longer makes sense to include sugary beverages in restaurant meals for young children. 

Our movement is growing and restaurants need to hear from moms like us.

McDonald’s made a shift in what they offer to kids because parents raised their voices. Now's the time to increase our impact and get unhealthy beverages off of kids’ menus everywhere. In addition to the action McDonald’s is taking, Subway, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera do not offer soda as the default. We need other top restaurants like Burger King and Wendy's to come around too. 

Let's face it. Even without the soda, kids meals have a way to go before being as healthy as they can be. But, getting rid of soda is an important first step.

Thank you. Together, we are a strong voice for women, children, and families.

- Monifa, Donna, Migdalia, Karen, Dream and the rest of the team


(1) Reedy, Jill, PhD, MPH, RD; Krebs-Smith, Susan M., PhD, MPH, RD. Dietary Sources of Energy, Solid Fats, and Added Sugars among Children and Adolescents in the United States. American Dietetic Association.

(2) Kolatajan, Gina. (2014, January 29). Obesity Is Found to Gain Its Hold in Earliest Years. The New York Times. Retrieved from

(3) Ogden, Cynthia Ph.D., and Carroll, Margare, M.S.P.H. NCHS Health E-Stat: Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents: United States, Trends 1963-1965 Through 2007-2008. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved from

(4) Ludwig DS, Peterson KE, Gortmaker SL. Relation between consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and childhood obesity: a prospective, observational analysis. Lancet. 2001;357:505-8.

(5) American Heart Association. (Updated 2014, January 28). Overweight in Children. Retrieved from


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