It's not a typical question heard in fast-food restaurants, but the city of Davis, California, hopes to change that with a new rule: It will require servers to ask kids (or the parents ordering for them) if they'd like milk or water with their meal. Customers would still be able to get a soda upon request, but it would no longer be the default beverage, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The city council unanimously passed the ordinance this week, and it will take effect in September once it clears a second council vote, largely seen as a formality. The Chronicle says the measure is "said to be the first of its kind in the nation." Restaurants caught skirting the rule will face fines of up to $500, reports the Sacramento Bee.
"Prior to this ordinance, the soda industry was selecting what your child would drink," says the director of the children's health advocacy group First 5 Yolo. "This puts milk and water at the forefront." The move comes amid efforts to fight childhood obesity, with the more usual tactic coming in the form of a soda tax, as in the city of Berkeley. Restaurants will have to submit menus to the council ahead of the rule's start to prove they're in compliance, but city officials were surprised to find that local merchants were on board with the change. "I believe it's going to be a non-issue," says one local restaurant owner. (Meanwhile, the US has a new No. 2 soft drink, and it's not diet.)