Citizens of New York City may just be next on the list of Americans to cut back on their soda intake. However, unlike health food addicts and those who have sworn off sugar, this choice won’t be made for their health, it will be made by law. In what now is a proposed plan by the Bloomberg administration, citizens of NYC would be restricted of selling or purchasing sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces. It is a plan that’s still in its beginning stages, causing backlash from all sides of the soda spectrum.
Although refills would still be allowed, consumers, in theory, would have to make a conscious decision to up their soda consumption. Also included in the ban is sweetened teas, juices containing less than 70 percent juice, and lattes or cappuccinos that are less than half milk – all of which are required to measure in at 16 ounces or less. Passing the bigger-than-16oz. serving rule are coffee, unsweetened teas, and most surprisingly, diet sodas. Because diet sodas are not defined as containing “sugars,” they won’t be included in the ban.
While this is certainly a step forward in the war against obesity, the proposed law has been quick to anger the public, rather than educate them. Portion control is an important factor in the fight against obesity, but studies have shown that educating people about healthy alternatives helps get to the root of the problem. Consumers can be given incentives to drink non-sugary beverages and educated as to what these options entail.
However, for those purchasing a larger drink just because it’s “a better deal,” this nasty habit will certainly be nipped in the bud, should the bill be passed. But for those true sugary drink fans, all that’s required is a few extra dollars (and a few more empty containers), and their original intakes can still be met. What the Bloomberg administration needs to focus on is spreading the facts about consuming sugary beverages, especially in large quantities. There are plenty of healthy and tasty alternatives (like Zing Anything) that allow for taste but help eliminate the calories and sugars. Nonetheless, we feel this is a step in the right direction and we applaud Mayor Bloomberg for taking on sugary drinks, just as tobacco and trans-fats have been as well.
In order to go into effect, the Bloomberg large soda ban has to be passed by NYC’s Health Department. If voted into effect, consumers can see smaller sodas hitting the shelves as early as March of 2013.