PhotoSorry, kids. Applebee's is removing soda from its children's menus, the first family-dining chain to do so, the non-profit Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) said.

“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,” said CSPI nutrition policy counsel Jessica Almy.  “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.”

Fast-food chains McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Dairy Queen deep-sixed soda earlier at the urging of CSPI and other organizations, including, the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.

Subway, Chipotle, and Panera also exclude sugar drinks from kids’ menus, as does IHOP, which is owned by Applebee’s parent company DineEquity.

“Responsible restaurants are on the fast track toward making soda for kids a thing of the past,” said Almy.  

The news comes as New York City enacted a requirement that chain restaurants identify high-salt menu items. Applebee's has said it is already in complaince.

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