Mayor Bloomberg's proposed plan to ban the sale of large sugary drinks at restaurants, cinemas and food carts in an effort to tackle obesity in New York City has left some people bubbling with rage, and others, such as health advocates, struggling to bottle their excitement.
The Mayor’s Task Force on Obesity states that, 'Americans consume 200-300 more calories daily than 30 years ago, with the largest single increase due to sugary drinks'.
According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, obesity has led to a big increase in the prevalence of Type II diabetes, heart disease, asthma and other problems.
The ban would apply to all sugary drinks larger than 16 fl oz and will come into effect six months after the approval by the Board of Health.
In a statement from Robert Pestronk, executive director, National Association of County & City Health Officials, Pestronk supports the proposed ban: "We have seen a rise in efforts to combat sugar-sweetened beverage intake in states across the country.
"With this proposal, Mayor Bloomberg is raising the bar and taking a big step toward making New Yorkers healthier."
It seems actions, proposals or even suggestions of extreme methods to tackle obesity scare consumers and those who are blamed for providing products that contribute to the epidemic.
This week, The Walt Disney Company became the first major media company to introduce new standards for food and beverage advertising on programming that targets kids and families, which so far has received a warm welcome. However, it has been reported that the advertising company supporting Lady Obama's 'Let's Move!' initiative is collaborating on an ad campaign for one of the products she's trying to remove from children's diets.
According to the reports, Lady Obama applauded The Walt Disney Company for rolling out a ban on advertising junk food (this included Capri-Sun, which contains 33g of sugar per 12oz container).
53% of adults in NYC believe Bloomberg's proposed ban is a bad idea, while 42% say it's a good one. 6% are unsure. It appears that not only are 6% of New Yorkers unsure how they feel about a ban of sugary drinks, but a larger proportion of the population are unsure of the facts, unsure of what they're supporting, unsure of who they should be supporting, and ultimately unsure of the actions being taken to address sugar consumption, the obesity epidemic and freedom of choice.
To ban or not to ban, that is the question. Will it pop into thin air, or simply fall flat? Contact me using any of the details below, or leave a comment.
Rebecca is editorial assistant of FoodBev.com
- Caffé Culture 2013, in pictures
- Tetra Pak receives DuPont Continuing Innovation Award
- Pom-Bear Zoo snacks from Intersnack