Super Sized Sodas and Sugary Drinks Banned in New York City
A few months back, I wrote an article about a proposed ban on super-sized sodas and sugary drinks in New York City that you can read here. NYC officials felt they had to do something about the growing, (no pun intended), obesity problem in that city and around the country as a whole. As you can imagine, there was a tremendous amount of backlash aimed at the proposal by drink manufacturers, restaurants, stadiums and many other businesses that sell large beverages. Earlier today, the proposed ban was passed.
The New York City Board of Health banned the sale of larger sodas and other sugar-added drinks in restaurants, concession stands and other eating establishments.
They have also defined 'super-sized' as any drink larger than 16-ounces and supermarkets and convenience stores are exempt (kind of like how Casino Aztar is exempt from an Evansville city-wide smoking ban) I know, right?
New York City has done some good things in regard to battling obesity, for example, being among the first to require that chain restaurants put calorie counts on their menu. But some are very nervous that this kind of ban gets dangerously close to denying people the right to choose.
Soda and other sugary drinks can certainly result in weight gain, but so can hundreds of other foods and snacks. The problem isn't necessarily the foods and drinks themselves as much as the quantity of those products any one person consumes over a period of time. Personal responsibility has to play a major role here...don't you think, and shouldn't you be able to make bad choices for yourself if you are so inclined?
What I find so interesting here is the fact that diet sodas are exempt, as are products that are more than half milk and ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES! That's right...regular soda is a no-no, but beer is fine...WHAT?
Bottom line, while this ban may actually do some good, it's not about large sodas. As I said earlier, it's about personal responsibility and self-respect before anything else. Legislating something like the size of drinks just kind of feels like we're standing on a very slippery slope doesn't it - or am I missing something here?