Banning big beverages in New York


By Jordan Ruimy

Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban big sized sugary drinks throughout New York isn’t a surprise to anyone who has followed America’s rising epidemic of obesity.

Bloomberg’s plan – which is targeted to start as soon as next March – would ban all drinks larger than 16 fluid ounces. However, the plan does not have any intention of banning unhealthy drinks like Diet Soda, fruit juices, and milkshakes. Funny enough, those drinks are probably just as bad for you as any of the proposed banned drinks on Mr. Bloomberg’s plan. 

Still, one has to give major kudos to Bloomberg for trying to put a stop to an obesity epidemic that is only growing larger and larger each year. “Obesity is a nationwide problem” Bloomberg stated in his May 30th News conference. It sure is, and with this proposed new plan, the restricted sugars could save many lives.

Not everybody is happy with the proposed plan. The New York City Beverage Association (NYCBA) openly criticized the announcement, while others have complained that this latest crackdown is an infringement on personal freedom and has as many negatives effects as positives. “It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity” stated NYCBA spokesman Stefan Friedman. 

However, talking to the New York Times, well renowned Dr. Thomas Farley “blames soft drinks for up to half of the increase in city obesity rates”. A strikingly different take than that of the NYCBA’s.

More than half of New York City adults are either obese or overweight and this isn’t the first time Mayor Bloomberg has cracked down on obesity in his city. He has implemented city-wide bans on such unhealthy lifestyle choices as smoking in parks and restaurants, a crackdown on trans fats in restaurant food and a ratings card stamped on restaurant windows.

Bloomberg had previously tried to implement a state wide tax on sodas -which was rejected in Albany – and then tried to ban any food stamps used for sodas – which was also rejected. This, however, looks like the real deal. 

The new Soda law might not require as much outside approval as the other two attempts based on the city’s jurisdiction over local eating establishments, which is how Bloomberg ended up getting his restaurant ratings law approved in the first place. 

What do you think? Is this a good move to prevent obesity, or do you believe you should have the freedom to buy the extra extra large coke if you so desire?


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