France Bans Soda Refills from Restaurant Chains

Next time you go to France, don’t expect to sip your way through the nation's restaurants. At least, not sipping on unlimited soda refills.

That’s because the City of Light is putting the kibosh on soda refills, with a recent ban on them at restaurants and fast food chains across the nation. The move comes as an effort to help improve the nation’s health. Yes, it seems even France, the epicenter for real food, has a soda problem. 

“The move, which is supported by Health Minister Marisol Touraine and needs to pass through the Senate before being put into action, targets fountain machines—such as those found at fast-food spots and burger joints—everywhere, including public places such as gas stations and malls in addition to restaurants,” reports Vice.

Arnaud Richard, a Parliament member from the UDI (Union of Democrats and Independents) and the author of the amendment, explained: “It is the role of the law to fix a framework to protect the population against commercial competition which aims to make something free to entice customers and encourage them to consume unhealthy products excessively.”

France, which also boasts one of the most comprehensive universal health care systems in the world, consumes about a quarter of the amount of soda and soft drinks as Americans, about 11 gallons per person per year.

A soda tax was implemented in Berkeley, Calif. last year, but attempts to ban large soda sales from establishments in New York city including restaurants, movie theaters and mini-markets was overturned by a federal judge. The Navajo Nation, the largest native community in the U.S., recently passed a junk food tax that it hopes will help to curb its obesity epidemic, afflicting about ten percent of the Indigenous community.

As for France, time will tell if the ban will make a difference in the nation’s waistline. 

Image via Mr.TinDC


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