Soda wars fizz in New York after proposed ban

June 12, 2012 by Brigitte Dusseau

A soda war fizzed in New York on Tuesday as the city health department began to consider a proposal by health-conscious Mayor Michael Bloomberg to ban super-sized soft drinks.

Bloomberg's proposal on May 31 triggered a wave of reactions from the media, shop keepers, anti-obesity campaigners and New Yorkers who say they are tired of the mayor's alleged "nanny state" tendencies.

On Tuesday, a full page ad in the commuter free sheet Metro showed a 32 oz soda cup of the kind popular in and alongside this 26 packets of sugar. "Your kid just ate 26 packs of sugar," the ad stated, before warning that "sugary drinks can bring on obesity, and heart disease."

But in the same paper a letter from a home machine company denounced the threat of new rules. "New York doesn't need this legislation. Let the people choose." Meanwhile, advertisements in the subway trains herald the soft drinks industry's efforts to give consumers plenty of choice.

The mayor is accused, among other things, of hypocrisy, since he is against some like smoking and heavy drinking of , but supports eat-a-thons like the annual Coney Island hotdog competition.

Without going as far as those who call him a "big brother" or "super nanny," Coca Cola talks of an "arbitrary mandate" against big drinks, while McDonalds said it was a "misguided ban."

"His attack on this industry has been incredible," Rick J. Sampson, head of the New York state restaurant association, said.

Local NY1 television has done a poll that found 53 percent of residents opposed the ban, 42 percent were in support. More than half thought such a measure would do nothing to help combating obesity.

It's "a ban too far," The said in an editorial. "Too much nannying with a ban might well cause people to tune out."

Bloomberg is pressing his point home too. Almost daily his office issues statements of support from public figures and .

"Sugary drink consumption is a key driver of the obesity epidemic in the US and in New York. And it is an epidemic. Nearly 60 percent of adult New Yorkers and 40 percent of our children are overweight or obese," Bloomberg said. "Each year, an estimated 5,800 New Yorkers die because they are overweight or obese."

The prohibition, which would not need city council approval, would restrict soda drink servings to no more than 16 ounces. That's more than a normal can, but only half the size of the biggest, bucket-like container that patrons commonly guzzle from in cinemas, sports arenas and other outlets.

The measure would target fast-food and other restaurants, delis, and places of public entertainment like stadiums. It would not cover drinks sold in supermarkets, or any diet, fruit, dairy or alcoholic drinks.

Explore further: NY proposes ban on sale of oversized sodas (Update 3)

Related Stories

NY proposes ban on sale of oversized sodas (Update 3)

May 31, 2012
(AP) — New York City's mayor is proposing an unprecedented ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks in the hopes of combating obesity — an expansion of efforts to encourage healthy behavior that have ...

Feds oppose ban on food stamps for sodas in NYC

August 20, 2011
(AP) -- A plan by New York City to combat obesity by restricting the purchase of sugary drinks with foods stamps would be too large and complex, federal officials said Friday.

After NY ban on big sodas proposed, what's next?

June 1, 2012
(AP) — Just how far would a government go to protect us from ourselves?

Half of Americans drink daily soda, sweet beverage

September 1, 2011
Half of Americans drink a soda or sugary beverage each day - and some are downing a lot.

Recommended for you

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

Sleep better, lose weight?

January 17, 2018
(HealthDay)—Sleeplessness could cost you when it's time to stand on your bathroom scale, a new British study suggests.

Who uses phone apps to track sleep habits? Mostly the healthy and wealthy in US

January 16, 2018
The profile of most Americans who use popular mobile phone apps that track sleep habits is that they are relatively affluent, claim to eat well, and say they are in good health, even if some of them tend to smoke.

Improvements in mortality rates are slowed by rise in obesity in the United States

January 15, 2018
With countless medical advances and efforts to curb smoking, one might expect that life expectancy in the United States would improve. Yet according to recent studies, there's been a reduction in the rate of improvement in ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.