NY to Ban Large Soda Drinks
New York City Soda Ban Passes
Mayor Bloomberg's controversial ban on supersized sodas got city Board of Health approval today and will take effect in March. Here are reader reactions.
By Annie Hauser
Don't Miss This
Sign Up for OurDigestive HealthNewsletter
Thanks for signing up!You might also like these other newsletters:
THURSDAY, Sept. 13, 2012 —The New York City Board of Health approved Mayor Michael Bloomberg's ban on the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces today. The ban, which applies to all restaurants and self-service stations, is scheduled to take effect in six months.
"I think [the ban] should be everywhere. [Soda] is crap and it's why we're a majority of obese people," said Everyday Health reader Stacy Wood today on our in response to the ban.
Restaurants, bars, cafeterias, and fixed-site food stands — all regulated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene — would be affected by the ban, and face fines of up to 0 per violation. Mobile food carts, supermarkets, and bodegas/small mini-marts — including 7-Eleven convenience stores — are exempt because they operate as supermarkets or wholesale markets for more than 50 percent of their business and are regulated by the state Department of Agriculture, not the city health department.
Non-sugary drinks, including diet sodas, alcohol, fruit juices, and drinks that are more than 50 percent dairy, won't be affected. Drinks with fewer than 25 calories per 8-ounce servings, such as low-calorie sports drinks and teas, also will not be affected by the ban.
Bloomberg proposed the ban in May in an effort to curb the city's obesity epidemic. More than half of New York City adults are overweight or obese while two-thirds of all Americans are. When the ban was initially proposed, New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley, MD, reported that a third of New Yorkers drink at least one sugary drink a day. Nationwide,half of all people drink at least one sugary drink daily, a 2011 report released by the National Center for Health Statistics found.
Soda is the single largest source of sugar in the modern American diet, the Center for Science in the Public Interest reports, increasing risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and more. Numerous studies have even linked all that sugar to depression and aggressive behavior in kids.
Still, the ban faced stiff opposition from the New York City Beverage Association, among other advocacy groups, and was criticized by people who don't feel it confronts the obesity epidemic in an effective and measurable way. "It's not the restaurants, food manufacturers, portion sizes, or the sales of drinks larger than 16 ounces that is making Americans fat," said Steve Siebold, author of the bookDie Fat or Get Tough: 101 Differences in Thinking Between Fat People and Fit People in response to the initial proposal. "It comes down to personal responsibility."
Many Everyday Health readers agreed with that sentiment today when asked on Everyday Health's Facebook page to comment. Here's a smattering of reader reactions.
- "I think it's a shame that they have to go so far as to ban [sodas] and that people flat out refuse to take responsibility for their own health. The need for such laws only goes to show the extent to which we will damage ourselves for a perceived pleasure."–Renea Hanna
- "I think it's a great idea. If obesity was a virus then we would have to do something about it. Also I agree that it's sad that America can't take responsibility for their own health and we have to go as far as banding product size." –Nicole Yoder
- "Laws don't make people stop drinking soda! Limit the size of Government, my waist will take care of itself." –Eugene Fry
- "I think [the ban] should be everywhere. [Soda] is crap and it's why we're a majority of obese people and the fast food industries need to go too!" –Stacy Wood
- "Great idea. Laws may not stop anyone but at least this will be an eye-opener. It is a shame that lawmakers have to step in and 'care' about our health more than we do. If there was more preventative methods like this, we would not have the issues that we have with diabetes, heart disease, and obesity." –Erin Alexander
- "No I don't agree! I can buy a carton of cigarettes and a case of beer, but not a Big Gulp? Not that I buy either of those items, but I have the right. The government is starting with unimportant things and adding more and more and taking away rights little by little. We need to wake up and start pushing back!" –Nia Whaley
- Why not? Big brother has reached into every other aspect of our lives! I agree its' not healthy, but it is a person's choice. Whatever happened to free will?" –David Gentry
TELL US: Are you for the city's ban on supersized sugary drinks? Sound off in the comments.
Video: GBR: NY soda ban passes
Why You Should VoteTwice This Year
Smoked Salmon Scrambled Eggs
How to Pray Without Distractions
Celebrity Detox Tips That Are Completely Effortless – We Promise
Good blogging is simple: Write good posts (and be thankful)
How to Catch a Leprechaun
How to Kiss on a Dare
What to wear on New Year 2015 eve
How to Write a Personal Mission Statement to Ensure Peak Productivity
6 Things to Say to Someone With Alzheimer’s (And 3 Things to Never Say)