You’ve heard about it by now – Aiming to fight the obesity epidemic, the mayor of New York has proposed a ban on the sale of large (>16 ounce) sugary beverages by restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters, and delis.
Will it help? As Chaos Theory purports: Nature will find a way…and without meaningful education about why you shouldn’t chug soda, people who want big soda, will find big soda, whether Mayor Bloomberg bans it or not.
So I have mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I don’t like the idea of the government stepping in by “banning” foods or beverages. It seems like a knee-jerk. On the other hand, I think there is really no reason for a cup larger than 16 ounces at these types of venues. My kids certainly don’t get a size that large when I’m paying for it, and I don’t think any kid needs a soda pop larger than a 16 ounce size (8 ounces is enough actually). It’s a bad habit to guzzle that much soda on a regular basis. Children who get used to that much soda as youngsters, keep guzzling it, and as adults, we definitely don’t need the additional 200 calories or more daily.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has released a statement in regard to the ban as well:
“We need to measure behavior changes across the population as a result of the program. Then, we can determine if the changes are long-term and whether they contribute to a reduction of chronic diseases like obesity and diabetes”
And this is a good point. There’s no proof that banning one size of soda, or one from food from our food supply, or one ingredient, will do any good for the larger problem of widespread obesity. Obesity is the result of many years of eating behaviors, habits, and improper food choices, as well as metabolic issues among individuals. Taking some soda pop off the streets isn’t going to fix it.
Helping consumers understand why it’s a bad choice to chug humongous calorie-laden beverages (remember, there’s also 150 calories in a 12 ounce can or bottle of beer, or a shot of whiskey) on a daily basis is where good behaviors may bloom.
And to keep the facts straight, there’s probably about 12 ounces of sugary beverage in a 16 ounce cup filled with ice, so 12 ounces = 150 calories.
What do you think about the ban?