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France Bans Unlimited Free Soda, Other Sugary Drinks

Update Date: Jan 28, 2017 09:33 AM EST
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France's efforts to reduce obesity in the country led to the banning of offering unlimited sugary drinks in restaurants and other spaces that cater to customers. With the number of obesity cases and overweight people increasing in the country, a law mandating that would make it illegal to sell unlimited soft drinks and offering them for free has been declared.

Self-service soda fountains, a staple feature among family restaurants and cafes in some countries like the UK is believed to be the reason why the number of overweight people is increasing in France. BBC reports that the complete banning of free and unlimited sugary drink offerings in France aims to limit the risks of obesity and diabetes in the region.

The World Health Organization is already recommending the taxation of sugary drinks due to the risk factors that comes with its overindulgence. A soft drinks tax will be introduced by 2018 that will target soft drinks as well as sports drinks with added sugars and sweeteners.

Although the number of the overweight population in France is lower than the European Union average, the country's government has already pushed the law targeting all public eateries, fast-food restaurants, and school canteens.

France has already included taxes on sweet drinks back in 2012 as reported by Telegraph UK.  The decree also includes selling unlimited or offering free and unlimited flavored fizzy and non-fizzy drinks, fruit syrups, water, milk, cereal and fruit-based drinks as well as fruit nectars, vegetable nectars and other similar products.

In parallel to this newly implemented decree, IKEA has already removed drinking fountains in its 33 centers around France as well as Quick, a popular French fast food chain. Five Guys on the other hand, installed microchips under the cups of their customer so that when they attempt to refill from their fountains, the dispensers would automatically switch off.

The France parliament approved the ban in April 2015 and updated it into a health law in January 2016 to reduce obesity. France's Health Minister Marisol Touraine has championed the ban on unlimited refills and will crack down of the cause of obesity in France.

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