If Mayor Bloomberg gets his way, New York City will soon ban the sale of single-serve soft drinks larger than 16 ounces. The mayor is working to curb the obesity problem and feels that banning these super-sized drinks will be a step in the right direction.
Under his proposed plan, any sugary drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces would be banned, including drinks found in movie theaters, street carts and stadiums. It would also affect the city’s 20,000 restaurants.
However, the drinks would still be allowed in supermarkets, convenience stores, vending machines and newsstands. Vendors would face a $200 fine for each offense.
The New York Beverage Association is naturally up in arms and feels their industry is being unfairly targeted.
Spokesperson for the association Stefan Friedman says:
“There they go again. The New York City Health Department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top. The city is not going to address the obesity issue by attacking soda because soda is not driving the obesity rates.”
Mayor Bloomberg says he will be part of this nation’s solution to the obesity problem:
“Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, Oh, this is terrible.’ New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something.”
Since the proposed law would ban would prohibit cups larger than 16 ounces of any liquid that contains more than 25 calories per 8 ounces, diet sodas would still technically be allowed. Sixteen ounces of a soft drink typically contain 12 teaspoons of sugar, more than the daily allotted size for men and women. The mayor needs approval from the Board of Health, but it looks like that won’t be a large battle. The board approved his proposals to require restaurants to use letter grades and post calorie counts in the past.
Some people are against his proposed ban and feel it infringes on their rights. Others say who cares? If they want more soda, they’ll buy two. But does anyone really need to drink more than 16 ounces at any given time? In a land of super-sized restaurant portions, it seems like a first step to cut down the serving sizes of drinks. Will the food portion restrictions be far away?
I can’t say this is a bad idea. The government isn’t banning the sale of the drinks entirely, just trying to limit the single serving size. Sixteen ounces is plenty for any one person. Encouraging a super-sized drink is not responsible consumerism. Somehow, along the years, the profit (even in our food supply) became the goal instead of health and well being. Anyone who really wants to drink sugary drinks in excess can buy more, but to see a normal-sized beverage modeled in movie theaters and restaurants is a good thing for our kids, isn’t it?
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