No More Soda at Dairy Queen, Kids

DQ is the latest fast-food restaurant to take soda off the kids menu. Find out why drinks like the Arctic Rush are being frozen out.

No More Soda at Dairy Queen, Kids Photo (cc) by chippenziedeutch

Water and milk will displace sodas in kids’ meals at Dairy Queen. The neon-colored Arctic Rush slushy will suffer the same fate, CNN Money reports.

The nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest announced that the national fast-food chain has agreed to the swap, which will go into effect Sept. 1.

CSPI considers children’s menus a form of marketing and believes children’s menu items should be among the healthiest options a restaurant offers.

Margo Wootan, CSPI’s nutrition policy director, states in the release:

Dairy Queen deserves credit for being responsive to the concerns of parents, who increasingly want to be able to order off the kids’ menu without having to say ‘no’ to soda.

Dairy Queen follows McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s in making this type of decision this year in response to critics that include CSPI and, which describes itself as a network of people “united by the goal of building a more family-friendly America.”

Still,’s senior campaign director, Monifa Bandele, states in the press release that DQ’s swap is just a start:

While Dairy Queen is now offering better beverage options, we need more restaurants to do the same because sugar-sweetened beverages uniquely promote heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

We hope Dairy Queen and others will also move to further improve kids’ meals by serving whole grain rolls, offering more fruit and vegetable options, and reducing sodium across the menu.

CSPI says drinking one can of regular soda per day for one year amounts to consuming more than 30 pounds of sugar per year. One can of soda also amounts to more sugar than anyone should consume in one day, according to some health organizations.

For example, a 12-ounce can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar, and the same size Pepsi has 41 grams. The American Heart Association recommends, however, that the average woman limit her consumption of added sugars to roughly 25 grams per day, and that the average man limit his to 37.5 grams per day.

Money Talks News recently reported in “What’s Really In Your Soda?” that soft drink ingredients can include not only high doses of sugar, but also carcinogens, which can cause cancer.

To learn about other surprisingly sugary beverages, check out “18 Drinks With More Soda Than Coke.”

Karla Bowsher
Karla Bowsher
I’m a freelance journalist and former newspaper reporter who has covered both personal and public finance. I've worked for a top 50 major metro daily and a community newspaper as well as ... More


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