New York City Mayor Pushes for a State-Wide Ban on Soda
New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg is known as an advocate for promoting healthy eating and healthy lifestyles in both adults and children. As a part of his plan to attack obesity, Mayor Bloomberg has successfully banned the selling of sugary drinks in containers holding16 ounces or more. Sugary drinks are defined as a drink that contains more than 25 calories per eight fluid ounces and is sweetened with sugar or any other high calorie alternative. The ban will be in effect as of March 12, 2013 and fines will start in mid-June for those who do not abide by the new law. Despite this win for the city government, Mayor Bloomberg hopes that New York State will follow suit and pass the same ban on sugary drinks. The New York City Health Department has also enlisted the use of advertisements in educating people about sugary drinks.
The new ban on sugary drinks applies to restaurants, food carts and trucks, delis, and concession stands found in movie theaters, stadiums and arenas. The city law, however, does not apply to convenience stores and supermarkets because these businesses are state regulated and only a state wide ban can prevent them from selling large containers of drinks. Opponents of the city ban are afraid of what it will do for businesses. According to the Business Insider, this ban can cut back profits from nightclubs and bars that offer bottle services, which include juice or soda, as well as other businesses, such as pizza stores and bowling alleys that offer larger containers that tend to cater to large parties.
Other opponents feel that the law takes away their freedom to choose what to consume and how to consume it. However, Mayor Bloomberg stated otherwise since the law does not ban how many bottles one person can purchase, and thus, you can still be consuming the same amount of sugar. Mayor Bloomberg's goal is to educate and inform children about portion control. If children learn to drink 16 ounces of soda a day, it will become a habit that will be harder to end later on in life.
"Kids, once they get obese, they will be obese as adults. And this year, for the first time in the world, in the history of humanity, more people will die from overeating than from under-eating," the Mayor expressed. "We are not banning anything, other than saying you have to serve it in portions of 16 ounces or less. We're just trying to encourage you and educate you that this is probably not the greatest thing for you, and all the research done shows that portion control really does work."
Whether or not the state will follow in Mayor Bloomberg's steps will play a huge factor in how future generations learn about healthy consumption. Mayor Bloomberg is also known for banning cigarette smoking in restaurants and bars, which has proven to be very popular among city residents.