On several occasions over this past weekend the topic of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed Supersize Soda Ban has come up in social conversation amongst my family and friends.
To recap, Bloomberg has proposed banning the sale of sodas in containers larger than 16 oz.. in an effort to address and fight the obesity epidemic rampant in NYC. In fact, city public health statistics show that 58 percent of New York City adults and nearly 40 percent of city public school students are obese or overweight – scary stats, but unfortunately not surprising.
On the flip side of those who support Bloomberg’s proposal are the sharp witted and legal minds quick to point out the fact that banning the type of products a business can sell, while also choosing what size beverage the public may ingest goes against the democratic grain of our society and therefore should never be allowed to pass.
Personally, I see both sides of the argument. Sugar really is a toxic and lethal drug. Perhaps we should treat it like any other drug or alcohol and ban its sale to children under the age of 18. But since most sugary laden products are marketed directly to children that type of regulation would never fly given the immense marketing and lobbying efforts the big food companies put forth and the sway they have over our government and the public in general.
OK…so, I had my next idea. Similar to cigarette warning labels why not display the cup sizes in clear plastic, then fill the clear plastic display cups with the equivalent amount of sugar as will be present once the cup is filled with soda. In this way…children and adults can very clearly see how much sugar they are choosing to drink and are fully informed of their choice at the time of purchase. I believe the sight of the amount of sugar present in each sized cup will shock people into choosing the smaller size or maybe, choose another beverage, like dare I say something as simple as a glass of water?! And, for those that still opt for the supersize sugar body shocker so be it.
To throw another spin on and perhaps take the argument in support of Bloomberg’s proposal one step further we must also consider one more fact. Those citizens who choose the supersize soda shockers, and who continue to grow in size as a result of their food choices will wind up costing taxpayers many hundreds of millions in monies that will go towards their inevitable healthcare costs as a result of the multitude of diseases that arise from their obesity.
A complicated issue worthy of the discussion time I’ve shared amongst my social circle. What are your thoughts and
the thoughts of your community?