By Michelle Procida, Public Relations Assistant
The streets of New York City were hit with a controversial public-health proposal last week— the soda ban. Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed to ban the sales of extra-large sodas and other sugary soft-drinks, sold in places such as movie theaters, food chains, or at public sporting events.
If this proposal goes through, New Yorkers will no longer be able to purchase sugary drinks larger than 16 oz., the size of a standard plastic water bottle or what is considered a small drink at fast food chains.
That’s right, no more Big Gulp from 7/11 or the chance to super-size your drink at the drive-thru.
Additional purchases however, are allowed as well as the sale of standard sized sodas, found in grocery and convenience stores.
While Mayor Bloomberg has been addressing health issues in New York City, such as the ban of smoking in restaurants which proved effective, many feel differently about this proposal.
“I think it should be a person’s decision whether or not they want to purchase and drink an extra-large size beverage,” said Joelle Caputa, CPR’s Account Executive. “Just like it’s a personal decision to do other unhealthy things like drink alcohol or smoke.”
The idea of this proposal is to remove the option of overindulgence, potentially reducing the obesity rate. But can cutting out extra-large sodas really help? Over-sized meal portions already flood restaurant tables, dishing out more than double the amount of a standard, single portion. Even with this proposal, other sugary options are still readily available.
“If they really want to combat obesity, stop making and selling all candy, cookies, cake and all processed food and fast food!” said Ann Marie Zyla, Executive Assistant at CPR. “It is not going to make a difference to limit large beverage sizes to medium sized beverages. There are too many other factors and temptations around.”
“Lower taxes on healthy foods like fruits and vegetables,” said Jessica Day, Account Executive at CPR. “No wonder people flock to fast food, it’s cheap!”
But with smaller amounts of soda being served, this could lead to beverage distributors hiking up the prices of smaller sodas.
What do you think? Could this soda ban help reduce obesity, or is it putting too much control on food and drink options?