Photo Credit: NY Times
“And for only 25 cents more…you can get your soda in the swimming pool-sized cup.” Although not quite that dramatic, these upgrades to super-sized cups may not cost much money…but the price paid in health care costs may be too high to even count.
Movie theaters and fast food joints are notorious for encouraging seemingly endless vessels for beverages. Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban the sale of cups larger than 32 ounces for sugary beverages has caused quite a stir among health professionals, media, and family members. (FYI – 32 ounces of a sugary beverage is equivalent to about 23 packets of sugar.)
Some of the questions raised include: Will this ban take away personal freedoms creating a nanny state? Like calorie labeling of restaurant meals, will this bold move be the spark that will ignite other cities to follow with similar bans? Will this cause food companies to downsize to help Americans downsize? It’s uncertain as to where this will lead, but there are a few things I do know for sure:
- No one person needs to consume a sugary beverage that’s even 24 ounces, let alone anything larger than that amount. Even if you’re a construction worker outside in the hot sun – you can purchase a small soda if you need one and buy a gallon of water, a beverage most of us don’t get enough of, to stay hydrated.
- Most people who buy these gigantic sizes of sugary beverages are not pouring it out into mini cups and sharing it with their friends and families…these drinks are generally going into one mouth at one sitting.
- Soda is not our only food causing obesity and the related risks and diseases that are side dishes to this global problem. Boxes of candy bigger than the size of a dictionary are being sold every day in movie theatres and stores across the country. Those items are not exactly health foods, but perhaps we have to start somewhere, in the beverage department.
So what do you think about the ban? Do you this proposition takes away personal freedoms or protects the personal health of the citizens of a city that’s bursting at the seams? Please share your thoughts on twitter @eatsmartbd or send me a message via my website.
In the meantime – here are several other opinions on this controversial subject: