Healthy Beverages in Kids’ Meals, Policy Research

In the fall of 2018, Wilmington, Delaware enacted a policy requiring that healthy beverages (i.e., milk, water, 100% juice) be the default choices at restaurants serving bundled children’s meals. CRESP collected baseline data about children’s meal beverages at affected restaurants in December of 2018, prior to policy implementation. CRESP will collect post-policy data in July of 2019. Additionally, the state of Delaware passed a healthy drink policy, and accordingly CRESP’s future research plans include conducting statewide pre- and post-policy assessments.


Karpyn, A., Atkins, J., Kennedy, N., & Tracy, T. (2019). Understanding the landscape of default beverage policies and preliminary data from Delaware restaurants (RB19-002). Newark, DE: Center for Research in Education and Social Policy.


Ribakove, S., & Wootan, M. G. (2019). Soda still on the menu: Progress, but more to do to get soda off restaurant children’s menus. Center for Science in the Public Interest. Retrieved from

Wilmington City Council, DE. Ordinance No. 4576, 2018. DOI:

15 House Bill 79. Delaware General Assembly. (2019).

Start Date: September 1, 2018

CRESP Lead Researcher: Allison Karpyn

Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Partner Organization(s):University of California Nutrition Policy Institute & American Heart Association

Partner Experts:Lessard, Laura PhD; Lorrene D Ritchie PhD, RD; Phoebe Harpainter MPH, RD; Margo G. Wootan, DSc (Adviser)

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