Diatribe: New York City’s Sugary Drink Ban.
Last Thursday, in a move meant to combat obesity and encourage residents to live healthier lifestyles, New York City’s Board of Health voted to ban the sale of sugary drinks in containers larger than sixteen ounces in restaurants and other venues.
“It’s time to face the facts: obesity is one of America’s most deadly problems, and sugary beverages are a leading cause of it. “As the size of sugary drinks has grown, so have our waistlines — and so have diabetes and heart disease.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg
The soda industry, and those concerned about government involvement in the personal choices of citizens, are protesting.
“What we need in New York are sensible solutions to the obesity issue that focus on a comprehensive approach to tackle an extremely complex problem. New Yorkers are smart enough to decide for themselves what to eat and drink.” – Eliot Hoff, spokesman, New Yorkers for Beverage Choices.
Bloomberg’s office has stated that New York City spends an estimated $4 billion each year on medical care for overweight people, about 58% of New York city adults are considered overweight or obese and one in eight New Yorkers suffer from diabetes, a disease often linked to obesity.
The Board’s decision is expected to take effect in six months and be enforced by the city’s regular restaurant inspection team, allowing restaurant owners nine months to adapt to the changes before facing fines.
I think the ban, while certainly well-intentioned, will have little to no effect on the health of New Yorkers. In fact, it won’t surprise me if they end up drinking more sugary drinks than they do now. For example, thirsty folks who would normally buy a 20-ounce beverage might now end up purchasing two 12-ounce portions to quench the same thirst.
Funny, isn’t it, that there’s never any talk of limiting alcohol consumption?
What are your thoughts? Do you think the new ban will impact the overall health of New Yorkers?
Like this post? Follow the blog and get involved in discussions! Find “Follow via Email” on the right side of the page and click “Follow.” Buttons for Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook are there, too!