New York To Ban Large Sodas - AnabolicMinds.com
    • New York To Ban Large Sodas


      By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM New York Times

      New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.


      The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.


      The measure would not apply to diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, or alcoholic beverages; it would not extend to beverages sold in grocery or convenience stores.


      “Obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, ‘Oh, this is terrible,’ ” Mr. Bloomberg said in an interview on Wednesday in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.


      “New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” he said. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”


      A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association, an arm of the soda industry’s national trade group, criticized the city’s proposal on Wednesday. The industry has clashed repeatedly with the city’s health department, saying it has unfairly singled out soda; industry groups have bought subway advertisements promoting their cause.


      “The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top,” the industry spokesman, Stefan Friedman, said. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”


      Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal requires the approval of the Board of Health, a step that is considered likely because the members are all appointed by him, and the board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who joined the mayor in supporting the measure on Wednesday.


      Mr. Bloomberg has made public health one of the top priorities of his lengthy tenure, and has championed a series of aggressive regulations, including bans on smoking in restaurants and parks, a prohibition against artificial trans fat in restaurant food and a requirement for health inspection grades to be posted in restaurant windows.


      The measures have led to occasional derision of the mayor as Nanny Bloomberg, by those who view the restrictions as infringements on personal freedom. But many of the measures adopted in New York have become models for other cities, including restrictions on smoking and trans fats, as well as the use of graphic advertising to combat smoking and soda consumption, and the demand that chain restaurants post calorie contents next to prices.


      In recent years, soda has emerged as a battleground in efforts to counter obesity. Across the nation, some school districts have banned the sale of soda in schools, and some cities have banned the sale of soda in public buildings.


      In New York City, where more than half of adults are obese or overweight, Dr. Thomas Farley, the health commissioner, blames sweetened drinks for up to half of the increase in city obesity rates over the last 30 years. About a third of New Yorkers drink one or more sugary drinks a day, according to the city. Dr. Farley said the city had seen higher obesity rates in neighborhoods where soda consumption was more common.


      The ban would not apply to drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce serving, like zero-calorie Vitamin Waters and unsweetened iced teas, as well as diet sodas.


      Restaurants, delis, movie theater and ballpark concessions would be affected, because they are regulated by the health department. Carts on sidewalks and in Central Park would also be included, but not vending machines or newsstands that serve only a smattering of fresh food items.


      At fast-food chains, where sodas are often dispersed at self-serve fountains, restaurants would be required to hand out cup sizes of 16 ounces or less, regardless of whether a customer opts for a diet drink. But free refills — and additional drink purchases — would be allowed.

      Corner stores and bodegas would be affected if they are defined by the city as “food service establishments.” Those stores can most easily be identified by the health department letter grades they are required to display in their windows.


      The mayor, who said he occasionally drank a diet soda “on a hot day,” contested the idea that the plan would limit consumers’ choices, saying the option to buy more soda would always be available.


      “Your argument, I guess, could be that it’s a little less convenient to have to carry two 16-ounce drinks to your seat in the movie theater rather than one 32 ounce,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a sarcastic tone. “I don’t think you can make the case that we’re taking things away.”


      He also said he foresaw no adverse effect on local businesses, and he suggested that restaurants could simply charge more for smaller drinks if their sales were to drop.


      The Bloomberg administration had made previous, unsuccessful efforts to make soda consumption less appealing. The mayor supported a state tax on sodas, but the measure died in Albany, and he tried to restrict the use of food stamps to buy sodas, but the idea was rejected by federal regulators.


      With the new proposal, City Hall is now trying to see how much it can accomplish without requiring outside approval. Mayoral aides say they are confident that they have the legal authority to restrict soda sales, based on the city’s jurisdiction over local eating establishments, the same oversight that allows for the health department’s letter-grade cleanliness rating system for restaurants.


      In interviews at the AMC Loews Village, in the East Village in Manhattan, some filmgoers said restricting large soda sales made sense to them.


      “I think it’s a good idea,” said Sara Gochenauer, 21, a personal assistant from the Upper West Side. Soda, she said, “rots your teeth.”


      But others said consumers should be free to choose.


      “If people want to drink 24 ounces, it’s their decision,” said Zara Atal, 20, a college student from the Upper East Side.


      Lawrence Goins, 50, a postal worker who lives in Newark, took a more pragmatic approach.


      “Some of those movies are three, three and a half hours long,” Mr. Goins said. “You got to quench your thirst.”

      Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/31/ny...***rss&emc=rss
      Comments 7 Comments
      1. monstermash's Avatar
        monstermash -
        At the end of the day people will eat what they want. They should stop with bans on bad things and make GOOD food more accessible.

        With that said, I wish fast food places would carry an equal amount of healthy options to unhealthy ones. More choices for people who WANT to eat right.
      1. bomcgraw's Avatar
        bomcgraw -
        Originally Posted by monstermash View Post
        At the end of the day people will eat what they want. They should stop with bans on bad things and make GOOD food more accessible.

        With that said, I wish fast food places would carry an equal amount of healthy options to unhealthy ones. More choices for people who WANT to eat right.
        I agree that healthier options should be more readily available but I think it's a cool idea to limit portions. People can still get refills, theyre just too lazy to get up and get em. Sodas have gotten to the point that they don't even fit in vehicle cup holders, like it's a contest to see who can drink the most $h!t in a day. I wish Texas would do this. If somebody is so dehydrated that they need a jug of somethin to drink, they prolly need water.
      1. bigdavid's Avatar
        bigdavid -
        Originally Posted by monstermash View Post

        With that said, I wish fast food places would carry an equal amount of healthy options to unhealthy ones. More choices for people who WANT to eat right.
        That will never happen when the majority does not care. Healthy foods = expensive. If everyone wanted to eat better, demand for fast food would change and if the fast food did not accommodate the new healthy mind set of consumers they would go out of business or lose profit. As long as their sales don't decrease they aren't going to change much.
      1. monstermash's Avatar
        monstermash -
        Originally Posted by bigdavid View Post
        That will never happen when the majority does not care. Healthy foods = expensive. If everyone wanted to eat better, demand for fast food would change and if the fast food did not accommodate the new healthy mind set of consumers they would go out of business or lose profit. As long as their sales don't decrease they aren't going to change much.
        I hear ya but since they are gonna "force" these fast food chains to do something anyway might as well make them carry more healthy sh!t. I mean the people obviously want huge sodas but they are gonna put a stop to that...

        My statement was mere wishful thinking. I also don't like big brother telling me what i can and can't do. If the fat sows can't stop drinking gallons of soda, let 'em. Darwinism for the win!
      1. bomcgraw's Avatar
        bomcgraw -
        Originally Posted by monstermash View Post

        If the fat sows can't stop drinking gallons of soda, let 'em. Darwinism for the win!
        Lol I totally agree with this. It just pisses me off every time I see a story on the news about how much fat people cost us in tax dollars just because theyre too lazy to take care of themselves. New York is over-stepping their bounds with this but I'm glad somebody is trying to do something. I always hear people cry about their weight as they order a double bacon cheeseburger with large fries and a large coke.
      1. superbot's Avatar
        superbot -
        What a joke. I mean what about all the greasy food that the vendors sell. I guess u would have to ban candy ,italian ices,and what about those giant coffee drinks from starbucks that have more sugar and fat than a value meal at mcdonalds. People get fat because of poor choices they make not what people are selling and sitting behind a computer typin away on facebook all day or playing xbox instead of gettin in the gym and busting ur ass has a lot to do with it also. Get off ur ass and exercise!
      1. broons's Avatar
        broons -
        I can see both sides of the argument. I don't really see a problem with it. Some people act like soda is the only thing they can drink. Like the Guy quoted about having to quench your thirst at a long movie. Gee here's a thought, try some water. And the businesses crying about it affecting their business. Um how exactly? Like people are gonna stop going to McDonald's just because they can't get their 32 ouncer.

        If people want to have the choice to knowingly destroy their bodies, then the public should have the choice to deny them medical care when their bodies fail or they become diabetic.

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