Unlimited soft drinks face ban

Self-service fizzy drinks machines to be banned from all French public places

RESTAURANTS in France are to be banned from offering unlimited refills of soft drinks, after MPs in the National Assembly approved an amendment to a wide-ranging new health law.

The measure would see an end to self-service soda machines at fast-food outlets, motorway service stations and cafes in big stores such as Ikea.

UDI member of parliament Arnaud Richard put forward the amendment, which would apply to any public place and would ban access to drinks fountains dispensing sugary beverages - whether paid-for or free.

He said unlimited fizzy drinks in restaurants contributed to obesity and made children become hooked on sugary refreshments.

Health minister Marisol Touraine supported the idea, voicing concerns about the growth of self-service drinks machines in French eateries. Water will be the only drink available on an unlimited supply.

The French government has outlined a nutrition plan that aims to cut by 25% the number of children who consume more than half a glass of sugary drinks in an average day.