MPs in the National Assembly have approved an amendment to the wide-ranging health law, currently being debated, that will see restaurants in France being banned from offering unlimited refills of soft drinks.
The measure would see an end to the self-service soda machines situated at fast-food outlets, motorway service stations and cafes in big stores such as Ikea.
Arnaud Richard, The UDI member of parliament, 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 that the dispensing of unlimited fizzy drinks in restaurants contributed to obesity and made children become hooked on sugary refreshments.
The 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, who is concerned at the rising levels of obesity, 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.