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What’s Your Take On The Soda Ban Proposal?

Jun 15th, 2012

soda ban34 percent of adult New Yorkers are overweight; 22 percent are obese; and one out of five kindergarten students in New York City are obese.

In an effort to fight the rising problem of obesity, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (NY) has proposed to ban sugar-rich drinks larger than 16 ounces. This ‘soda ban’ applies to drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces like in bottled drinks and fountain sodas. However consumers will be allowed to refill or buy another bottle of soda. The ban will be implemented on stadiums, restaurants, street carts, delis and concessions. Those who will not comply will pay a penalty of $200.

The proposal was met with criticism and support. According to a recent survey, 53 percent of residents think this is not a good idea. Surprisingly, residents younger than 50 are more supportive of the ban compared to residents older than 50. They don’t believe this is the answer to the rapidly increasing unhealthy population problem. The loudest opposition comes from companies, consumer groups, owners and advocates from the food and beverage industry. The New York City Restaurant Association is even thinking about taking  legal action against this proposal. But to some NY residents, like Dr. Kenneth Popler of the Staten Island Mental Health Society ( and a member of the board ). He did indicate that while this maybe an  infringement  on people’s rights, the benefits will be worth it.

Some members of the New York City Board of Health wants to broaden the scope of the ban. They want to include other high-calorie beverages like fruit juices and milk and large tubs of popcorn. The board is scheduled to cast their votes on Sept. 13, after a 6-week public hearing. Critics of this proposal say that this is not necessary. People should be given freedom in choosing what they eat and living a healthy lifestyle is an individuals choice. However the question is, if people are not given any sort of restriction or discouragement, can we honestly expect them to go out of their way to avoid these unhealthy lifestyle choices? Especially if it is something that has become a part of  their daily life.

Perhaps there’s a timely motivation with the mayors proposed ban? The State Has strongly supported the presidents Health Care Reform and New York  health insurance rates are  among  the Highest in the Nation. To many persons, the timing of the mayors proposed sugary ban seems too coincidental .

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