A new bill making its way through the California legislature would require unflavored milk or water to be the default beverage choices for children in restaurants. The nanny state never goes away, it just thinks of new ways to tell you and your family what to do.

Jillian Harding reports at CBS News:

California wants to curb kids’ soda habits

California is stepping up efforts to curb children’s consumption of sugary drinks with a bill that, if signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, would restrict what beverages restaurants may offer to kids.

The measure requires restaurants to serve water or milk with kids’ meals instead of soda or juice. Supporters include the American Cancer Society, which encourages limiting sugar intake as a way to prevent obesity.

“Some of these kids are drinking up to three sodas a day. This is setting them up for tremendous cancer risks down the road. Because now we know that 20 percent of all cancers are tied to being overweight,” Stephanie Winn of the American Cancer Society told CBS affiliate KOVR.

Opponents of the bill say it’s the job of parents or caregivers, not the state, to determine what kids should consume.

“I think the government shouldn’t determine what’s available when I as a mother know what’s best with my child,” Inez Deocio said.

Alexei Koseff of the Sacramento Bee has more:

Senate Bill 1192, which passed the Assembly on Thursday, would allow customers to specifically order alternatives, such as soda or juice. The bill is silent on whether the restaurant would have to change extra for the substitute.

Several Republican members criticized SB 1192 for allowing the government to step in and take over parents’ role and for putting further burdens on small businesses.

“Seriously, like, what’s next?” Assemblyman Matthew Harper, R-Huntington Beach, asked. “Are we going to insist that you have to have kale in your salad unless you specifically ask otherwise?”

Here’s the CBS News video report:

You might like the idea of making decisions like these on your own, but a recent op-ed by Benjamin Winig at Mercury News shows the nanny state does have supporters:

California should require warning labels on soda

Blackmail. Extortion. Shakedown.

Those words were used to describe the soda industry’s latest attack on California. Its lobbyists this summer strong-armed state legislators into making it illegal for cities and counties to adopt sugary-drink taxes and undermined peoples’ hopes to improve their health and well-being.

But while Big Soda may have been successful in temporarily interfering with local democracy, they can’t deny the facts. Sugary drinks are making us sick.

Despite sugar-industry-funded research that deliberately minimized the health risks of sugar consumption, a clear and compelling body of evidence now shows a strong relationship between consumption of sugary drinks and chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart, liver, and dental diseases. In fact, every year, 40,000 deaths in the U.S. are attributed to heart problems caused specifically by consuming too many sugary beverages…

Health warnings are one of government’s best strategies for educating people about the risks of what they consume. In the case of tobacco and alcohol, warning labels have proved not only effective but also legally sound. The same is true for sugary drinks.

Featured image via YouTube.