Restaurant chains Applebee's and IHOP are disposing soda from their children's menus nationwide.  The owners say they believe this is a small step in assisting parents while dining out, as parents are in the best position to determine the appropriate food and beverage choices for their children.

Applebee's and IHOP are the latest to join a growing number of food chains getting rid of soft drinks from the beverage options available for kids.  McDonald's, Burger King, Wendy's and Dairy Queen have all made similar changes to their menus amid a push for food chains to provide healthier menu offerings.

Sugary drinks are associated with obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, among other public health concerns.  A third of all children in the United States are obese, according to the Center for Disease Control and prevention.