In a city where there’s been a crackdown on smoking and trans fat, and a push to publish calorie counts, it can’t come as a big surprise that the politician helming the anti-obesity campaign is now on the drink attack. New York City will be the first city in the nation to mandate a 16 ounce limit on sugary drinks sold at food establishments that receive letter grades. This includes fast food outlets as well as mobile food courts, stadiums, movie theatres, arenas and some 20,000 restaurants. The size limit will go into effect March 2013, and will apply to bottled drinks as well as fountain or self serve beverages. In fact, businesses that supply cups for self serve will no longer be allowed to even stock those larger-than-life cups at the soda dispenser.
Not included in this new policy are supermarkets, grocery stores and other food sellers. Those who don’t comply could be hit with a $200 fine per violation. Specific drinks involved include sugary sodas, juices with less than 70% juice. Diet sodas and drinks containing milk were not included in the proposal. Politicians, experts and consumers all weighed in with differing perspectives. Some local officials feel this is just too much of an extension of Big Brother, while others point to national and local obesity rates which in part, are due to supersized foods and drinks. Some experts feel that personal responsibility has to step in at some point; others say the cost of healthcare falls unfairly and significantly on those who do adhere to efforts to manage their waistline and their health. Though Big Apple residents aren’t “as fat” as other Americans, the number of New Yorkers diagnosed with obesity continues in an upward trend. Interestingly enough, statistics indicate that New Yorkers have been curtailing their consumption of sugary drinks – maybe in part because of posted calorie charts. And one can’t argue with the price tag associated with obesity nor with the increasing number of children being diagnosed with obesity and co-morbid conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and soaring cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
But experts point to juice as another high calorie drink whose nutrition profile doesn’t justify consumption – fruit is so much better from a fiber and nutrient profile breakdown. And some would argue that the populace gets wooed into these large portion purchases because of advertising and pricing, so if we cannot stop the ads, we need to curb the availability. Some health officials do believe that regular consumption of sugary drinks is akin to a drug habit. But naysayers suggest this is more nanny state and that Bloomberg appears to be on a never-ending crusade to regulate “anything that tastes good.” Well, it certainly didn’t help that within two days of this news story release, Bloomberg still proclaimed Friday, June 1st, National Doughnut Day. But wait…..he expects you to wash it down with only a 16 ounce soda….or two…..or three!!
What do you think?? Yay on another mandate to help people control their portions or Nay??Weigh in on the conversation.
Published On: June 01, 2012