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Burger King drops soft drinks from kids' meals

It's getting tougher for kids to get soft drinks at the fast-food joint.

Burger King has dropped fountain drinks from its kids' menu boards and they are no longer merchandised as part of Burger King Kids Meals. The stealth, unannounced move late last month by Burger King – under pressures from advocacy groups – follows similar announced moves in recent months by McDonald's and Wendy's.

Burger King made the change, "as part of our ongoing effort to offer our guests options that match lifestyle needs," said Alex Macedo, president of Burger King North America, in an e-mailed statement to USA TODAY. Instead of soft drinks, the BK menu for kids will offer fat-free milk, 100% apple juice and low-fat chocolate milk.

Soft drinks are still an option, but not listed on the Kids Meal menu.

The move comes amid a recent whirlwind of activity among major fast-food chains to improve the quality off their food in response to growing demands by consumers and activists. Last week, McDonald's announced a new policy to eliminate human antibiotics from its chicken supply over the next two years. Also last week, Dunkin' Donuts agreed to phase out a controversial whitening agent used in the powdered sugar atop some of its doughnuts.

Over time, the soft drink menu change could impact future beverage industry sales because many consumers develop their beverage consumption habits as kids. USA TODAY reached out to the American Beverage Association, but the trade group did not comment.

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