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Baltimore committee passes bill barring restaurants from serving kids soda

A Baltimore City Council committee voted Tuesday morning to support a bill that would bar restaurants from including sodas and other sugary drinks in kids meals, a move supporters say could improve children’s health.

Under the proposed measure, city restaurants would be required to offer water, milk or real fruit juice on children’s menus. They would still be allowed to serve soda to children if accompanying adults order it.

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An advocacy group called Sugar Free Kids said the measure could help reduce the amount of sugar in childrens’ diets.

“They’re drinking way too much sugar,” said Shawn McIntosh, the group’s director. Encouraging children to pick healthy drinks while eating out could lead to them choosing the same refreshments at home.

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But McIntosh acknowledged that the measure would be “baby steps toward changing the culture.”

The full council will consider the bill later this month.

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