Applebee’s will become the first family restaurant chain in the country to remove soda from its children’s menus, following in the footsteps of McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Chipotle, Arby’s, and Panera.
IHOP, also owned by Applebee’s parent company, DineEquity, will do the same. The decision not only signals a more health-conscious approach to feeding families, but a noted decline in soda’s popularity within the American diet. The menu change will affect more than 3,600 total locations of Applebee’s and IHOP across 18 countries.
The move has been praised the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a national organization that advocates evidence-based approaches to public health and nutrition.
“Soda and other sugar drinks promote diabetes, obesity, tooth decay, and even heart disease, and a kids’ menu is no place for disease-promoting drinks,” Jessica Almy, CSPI’s nutrition policy counsel, said in a statement.
“Kudos to Applebee’s for taking this important step to promote children’s health. Other sit-down chains such as Chili’s should follow Applebee’s lead.”