Appeasing advocates for child health, Wendy's has agreed to take down soda from its children's meals. Though it has yet to enforce a new policy for its Happy Meals, McDonald's has pledged to do the same in 2013, leaving just Burger King out of the "big three" fast-food chains in the U.S. to continue selling soda on its children's menu.

Effective immediately, Wendy's will no longer be offering soda alongside food options for children although parents are more than free to order the beverage if they want to. Taking soda out as the default drink option just makes it easier for a parent to make healthier food choices for their kids.

"Ensuring that our children can make healthy choices is an important part of raising them. When restaurants offer up sugary drinks as the default choice, it undermines those efforts," said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, CEO and executive director for MomRising, adding her organization and its members are very delighted in what Wendy's is doing as it supports parents making healthier choices for their children.

Jessica Almy, senior counsel for nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), said that while parents are ultimately responsible for making healthy food choices for their children, restaurants can also pitch in to the effort by taking away obstacles, which is in this case soda with children's meals.

Aside from taking down soda from children's meals, CSPI recommends Wendy's could further improve food options by offering whole grain rolls, adding fruits and vegetables to their menu and cutting the level of sodium used across all menu items, as well as milkshake-like items like Frostys from their children's menu.

Additionally, CSPI endeavors Wendy's to change its marketing policy and comprehensively limit the promotion of unhealthy food for children. At the same time, the fast-food chain can also become part of the Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative, they say. The initiative is a self-regulatory program headed by the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Child-health groups advocate against soda as a beverage choice for children because of its sugary content, which will give rise to a number of health conditions like obesity, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, drinking just one extra sugary beverage a day has been shown to increase obesity risk in children by 60 percent, according to a study published in The Lancet.

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