If all had gone according to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan, March 12th 2013 would have been the last day for super-sized beverages in New York City.
It’s known as the “soda ban,” in which Bloomberg’s proposed legislation would have put a cap on the size of sugary drinks available for sale in the city.
If it hadn’t been struck down, restaurants, fast food joints, pizza parlors, movie theaters and bars would be unable to sell anything larger than a 16-ounce container of any sugary drink that exceeds 25 calories per ounce.
This would apply to sodas, energy drinks, sports drinks, juices, slushies, smoothies, and a slew of other beverages.
There’s no question, when people drink beverages that contain calories they are more likely to become overweight. Your body has a hard time registering foods in liquid form, so you don’t feel as satiated as you would having consumed solid foods. That’s exactly we encourage everyone to avoid drinks with calories in them.
But back in New York in a last-minute ruling, State Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling dismissed the proposed law, explaining that the New York City’s Board of Health lacked the jurisdiction to enforce it.
He went on to say that he believed the measure to be “arbitrary and capricious”.
Tingling made it clear that the city’s Board of Health was only meant to intervene “when the City is facing imminent danger due to disease” he wrote in the decision, “…that has not been demonstrated herein.”
But the Mayor disagreed with this assessment, suggesting that obesity is in fact an imminent danger. “The best science tells us that sugary drinks are a leading cause of obesity” Bloomberg said during a press conference in which he declared that he would appeal the decision.
He went on to say “It would be irresponsible not to try everything we can to save lives. People are dying every day. This is not a joke. This is about real lives.”
It doesn’t matter which side you fall on in this argument and other ones like it such as taxes on junk food or fines for being obese. If everyone made the right decisions when it came to what they consumed, there wouldn’t be a need for these well-intended but intrusive bans in the first place.
If you have some extra weight to lose, choose things like water, coffee, unsweet tea, diet drinks, and sugar-free flavored waters. They will tame your waistline –and the need for lawmakers to argue over what we should or should not eat.
How liquid calories contribute to obesity: hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-drinks/sugary-drinks/