Restaurant and beverage companies will soonface a new hurdle in New York as Mayor Michael Bloomberg is proposinga ban on the sale of large sodas and other high sugar drinks.
A proposal to ban the sale of large, sugar sweetened drinks in some New York City establishments is an important first step in combating the obesity epidemic but is not a solution on its own, experts say.
Forty five percent of those polled said they think the ban would help people lose weight, while 52 percent said it wouldn’t make a difference.
We’re doing this as a response to customer demand, not to bilk more money out of people by getting them to drink sugary drinks.
The pollsters contacted people at random on cell phones and land lines on Sunday.
The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
The proposal would ban the sale of some sugar sweetened drinks — including soda, coffee, tea, and fruit drinks — in servings larger than 16 ounces at New York City food service outlets such as restaurants, movie theaters, delis and food carts.
Grocery and convenience stores would be exempt, as would diet sodas and milk based products.
Any drink that’s more than half milk or more than 70 percent juice would be exempt.
The soda tax would add a one cent per ounce surcharge to soda and other sugary fruit drinks with less than ten percent juice.
“Every study shows that you will eat a very big proportion of whatever’s put in front of you,” Bloomberg said in an interview with CBS News.
According to CBS New York, drinking one soda a day equals 50 pounds of sugar a year.
Americans consume 200 to 300 more calories a day than they did 30 years ago, CBS News reported.
“When we’re looking at a city where there is an epidemic of overweight and obesity and we look at the diseases that are associated with obesity, even in young kids, 50 pounds of sugar a year, of added sugar to rest of the diet, is way too much,” Cathy Nonas, director of the city’s physical activity and nutrition program, told CBS New York.
According to the New York City Department of Health, sugary, sweetened beverages are a major contributor to the current obesity epidemic both in New York City and in the rest of the country.
In a phone interview, Dr Thomas Farley, New York City’s health commissioner, indicated that the extra calories from sweetened beverages have indeed contributed substantially to rising obesity rates throughout our country.
Marc La Vorgna, a spokesman for Bloomberg, said the poll showed New Yorkers weren’t overwhelmingly set against the proposal.
New York Soda Ban: After Controversial Bloomberg Proposal, What Foods Would Be Next.
“We didn’t propose it because we thought it would be popular, but it should come as no surprise that the numbers are so close since New Yorkers always have had an openness to bold ideas when taking on intractable problems,” he said in a statement.
The ban has been denounced by the soft drink industry and critics who accuse the mayor of trying to institute a “nanny state” rather than allowing individuals to make their own choices.
Dr THOMAS FARLEY: Well, people absolutely can buy more than that, and so this is not limiting people’s choice to drink a lot if they want to.
It’s expected to win the approval of the Bloomberg appointed Board of Health and take effect as early as March of 2013.
As we previously wrote, the city’s health department has been very proactive in fighting obesity and other public health issues.
And at fast food chains in New York City, close to half of people are purchasing beverages that are larger than that.
Public health issues cannot be effectively addressed through a narrowly focused and misguided ban,” the company said. “This is a complex topic, and one that requires a more collaborative and comprehensive approach.
“Several obesity experts backed the proposal.Dr Brian Elbel, assistant professor of population health and health policy at New York University told HealthPop last week that he saw the ban as really innovative and has a very large potential to have an impact at obesity and obesity rates.”.
Dr Kelley Brownell, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, told The New York Times that over time people will quickly become conditioned to the soda restrictions and will feel less cheated.
We believe that education and proper advocacy and voluntary measures that the restaurant industry has already undertaken within the city of New York and others to help New Yorkers eat more healthy foods more often, but this, mandating what people can eat, is just not the way to do it.
Pass it on: Experts are divided on how effective New York Citys proposed ban on sugar sweetened beverages would be in combating obesity.
Mark Jones is a business journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. Mark has a passion for financial markets and breaking news stories and loves writing about business news, stock market, and economic opinions that matters most to its audience. Mark spends a lot of time discovering and researching latest financial markets and industry news stories in order to make sure the latest and greatest stories are brought to you first on BigBoardNews.com.