Large Sodas to be Banned in New York

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s latest bold move to ban large sugary drinks hit a note this week, sending the media and New Yorkers into a flurry of reponses.

Many were negative. Patrick Platt and Linda Perez, interviewed at a MacDonald’s on 125th Street in Harlem objected to the possibility that they may no longer be able to buy a 20-ounce lemonade, according to the NY Times.

“For hm to dictate he’s overstepping his bounds,” said Perez, according to the article. The proposed ban would only affect sugary drinks sold in restaurants and fast food outlets–including movie theaters–that are 16 ounces or more.

“Reaction to the proposal came from many fronts on Thursday [May 30,] falling along two general tracks,” wrote Anemona Hartocolis of the NY Times. “The idea was either sound policy rooted in research, or a perfect illustration of oversize government gone too far.”

The move would not affect natural sugar drinks such as juices because at least in theory those drinks have some nutritional value, even if they also contain large sugar content.

Often, movie theaters and fast food establishments offer large discounts on bigger drinks, enticing customers to buy bigger than they normally would. And many do.

But those drinks not only are completely devoid of all nutrionational benefit, they also take the place of what could have been consumption of otherwise healthy calories, according to nutritionists.

The ban would also not affect refills, and diet sodas, dairy drinks, alcoholic beverages and drinks sold in groceries or convenience stores would not be off limits under the proposed changes.
The ban would take affect in March 2013 after public hearings, but already two mayoral hopefuls, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council Speaker, and William C. Thompson Jr., previous city comptroller, issued statements against the ban.

Of note, sports drinks would also be affected, but those are rarely sold in cups at fast food establishments or other restaurants.
One of the most forward thinking nutritionists of all time, Adele Davis included soft drinks in her list of items, along with hamburgers and french fries that are “murdering” Americans.

In an Oct. 21, 1972 article in the Sarasota Herald Tribune, she said that Americans should switch out their consumption of those fatty and high calorie foods that lack nutrional value for fresh fruits and vegetables, raw milk and other healthful foods.

That was some 40 years ago, and Ms. Davis’ advice has become common knowledge. But for some reason, the U.S. restaurant industry continues to foist its high calorie, low (or no) nutritional-valiue products on the populace. Ergo, high obesity problem in the U.S., especially among children.

An extra soft drink a day–and we’re talking about 8 ounces, not 16—ups a child’s chance of obesity by 60 percent, according to medical studies. And the level of obestity in the United States has reached staggering levels.

More than one third or 37 percent of adults in the U.S. are obese, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2000, no state in North America had an obesity level over 30%: but in 2010, the last time a study was conducted, but 12 states now have obesity levels over 30 percent. Below are some of the statistics:

During the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in obesity in the United States and rates remain high.

By state, obesity prevalence ranged from 21.0% in Colorado to 34.0% in Mississippi in 2010. No state had a prevalence of obesity less than 20%. Thirty-six states had a prevalence of 25% or more; 12 of these states (Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and West Virginia) had a prevalence of 30% or more.

The South has the highest prevalence of obesity (29.4%) followed by the Midwest (28.7%), Northeast (24.9%) and the West (24.1%).