Slimmer Sodas in New York City?
Mayor Michael Bloomberg wants to ban super-sized sugary drinks
New York City has the largest population of any city in the United States. But the more than 8 million people who live there may not have big sodas to match their big city for much longer.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on giant sodas and sugary drinks sold at fast-food restaurants, street carts, delis, and sporting events. The ban includes energy drinks and presweetened iced teas.
The Mayor says the ban is necessary to fight the rising rate of obesity. Obesity is when people have enough extra fat in their bodies to cause very negative effects on their health.
Sodas contain lots of calories—the measurement of how much energy is stored in food. Drinking large amounts of soda and other sugary drinks can cause a person’s daily calorie count to rocket way past the limits of what is healthy. Consuming too many calories may eventually cause a person to become overweight or obese.
Under the large-size drink ban, the biggest sweetened drink a person could buy would be 16 fluid ounces. This is a major change, because the most commonly sold soda bottle contains 20 ounces.
Diet sodas, fruit juices, and dairy drinks (like milk shakes) get a pass—people could still buy the giant versions of those. Grocery stores or convenience stores that are not classified as delis would also be exempt from the ban.
New York would be the first city in the United States to enact a giant-soda ban. The New York City Board of Health is now holding public hearings on the proposal. The proposal will need the approval of the Board, which will vote on the issue in September.
New Yorkers are divided on whether the ban is a good idea. Those who oppose it say that people should be able to make their own choices about what they eat and drink.
If the plan passes, New Yorkers would have until March 2013 to buy and suck down their last supersize soda in the city.