Nutrition News: Soda Debate Bubbles Up

by in Food News, June 10, 2012

In an effort to help New Yorkers clean up their diets, Mayor Bloomberg has proposed a ban on large-sized sugary drinks. Will NYC lead the trend for other cites fighting the battle of the bulge?

The Fizzy Facts
If it were to take effect, this law would ban the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 fluid ounces (2 cups). Fast food chains, restaurants, delis, food carts and sports arenas would have to comply. Vending machines and large bottles sold at supermarkets would not be affected.

A standard vending machine bottle of soda (20 fluid ounces) may contain anywhere from 16 to 22 teaspoons of sugar – that’s 240 to 330 empty calories! Energy drinks and sweetened teas (also part of the ban) contain high doses of added sweeteners as well.

Hot Topic
Everyone from politicians to celebrities are weighing in on this subject (who knew soda sippage could be so tumultuous?). Camp Bloomberg insists this will instill some much needed portion control. Those on the other side of the fence are calling it violation of personal rights that won’t put a dent in ever-rising obesity rates.

As a nutrition professional, I say why not limit these unnecessarily large drinks? Every little bit helps. BUT for this to have an impact, education is key. Let folks understand what they’re putting into their bodies and then let them decide if they want to make a change in their diet.

Tell Us: Are you in favor of the soda ban?

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Comments (63)

  1. Kristina says:

    I agree with all of you, though it would be nice to portion how much soda we take in… (that is if we order soda). My thing is, for the people who do consume a large amount of soda in one sitting, and/or overall, what will happen to their body? Their bodies could fall asleep, due to lack of caffeine, and for such an addictive substance, their bodies may fiend, or even withdraw, who knows. Businesses COULD lose customers over this… (but considering it is NY, not very many) but there will be a lot of grumpy customers, and employees will be expected to deal with them, piling on stress that is not needed.

    On the other hand, this could be a good thing. I say, while banning large amounts of soda, in return lower the cost and offer a GOOD source of water when they're done with their soda or tea for little to no charge, none of that tap water s**t. Water is good for your body and mind, and drinking a good source will make you feel more at your best throughout the day, plus it'll wash away all the sugar that's eating away at your enamel.


  2. Win says:

    I don't see why the FDA doesn't just regulate how sweet they make their beverages?

  3. nina says:

    This is ridiculous! if you can by one 16 oz you can buy 3 of them why dont they worry about people inhaling cigarette smoke, or helping the poor people eat or even getting jobs or worry about the schools in nyc maybe getting some after school programs that will teach about nutrition and stop dictating what we cannot purchase because we are over weight HOW ABOUT making the food that is healthy and cheaper so that way we can have a healthy option to buy rather then 1$ mc double from mc Donald??? how come they dont have a 1 salad? or 1$ fruit salad why is all the fatty stuff cheaper????

    • Charlotte says:

      I agree with you! We worry about things that really don't make a difference when we really could make a difference!

  4. Sydney says:

    If this is allowed, where does it stop? I assume all desserts are also going to be banned? Is the enemy ‘empty calories’ only? Maybe we should also force group exercise every morning at 6am. With all the bad choices a person can make, I’m disgusted that we’re choosing sodas to ‘control’…

  5. David Durgy says:

    The author’s argument makes no sense. It’s like saying let’s ban cell phones for everyone because some people text while driving but in the mean time let’s educate them about the dangers until everyone complies.

  6. Grace says:

    I think the mayor is just trying to get people to think twice before they order that supersized soda. If they are forced get the smaller one because of the ban, then they may realize they didn't really need that much soda in the first place by the time they finished their meal. If people are truly still thirsty after a 16 oz. soda, why not have a glass of water? People are obese for a reason. Soda contributes to it. I have heard from listening to professionals in the health care industry, that the fizz in soda, removes calcium from your system. Who was it that started the ban on transfats in commercial baked goods? We certainly have to thank those people who are trying to help us. The mayor is just bringing the problem to our attention. Yes, you can still go to the store and purchase large volumes of soda. What you put in your mouth is your choice, but it depends on whether or not you care about your health or the health of your innocent children who can only eat and drink what you provide. They learn from you.

  7. Steph says:

    What amazes me most about this is that everyone say people need to be "educated". Everyone know's how bad soda is for you but because it's right in front of your face you buy it.
    Anyone that has retail experience would know that people will buy whatever you give them, even if they don't need it. That's how companies make money.
    Making the larger sizes unavailable will take pressure off the consumer.

  8. Jules Rules says:

    How would Bloomberg like it if we put a height requirement on being Mayor of NYC??? He needs to worry about serious issues and mind his business!!! What about guys like my 6' 4" husband who's in the HVAC business and has to walk up and down old brownstones to do his job??? When he goes out to buy lunch, is he supposed to carry 4 8oz cups for the trip that is blocks away in the most crowded city in the world??? Mike…get a grip and stay out of our personal lives!!! Hey, Mayor Giuliani!!! Please take your job back!!!! We miss you!!!

  9. Gilly says:

    I think this new regulation is a great idea. Will it work? Who knows. We tried to legislate morality with Prohabition in the 1930s and look what happened there. But, this is a completley different situation and they aren’t trying to stop people from drinking soda all together, just drinking smaller amounts. Seriously, do we really need to drink a bucket of soda at the movies?

  10. Marcela says:

    The solution to this health problem (obesity) is EDUCATION, we need to educate ourselves, our kids, families etc on how and what to eat, if you have a portion control / healthy and balanced food ingest combined with daily dose of exercise you can eat almost everything you want, even sweet chocolate, cookies, sodas etc. But the easiest way to do something is prohibiting it and that’s not the solution. We need to be more conscious on what we are eating and the number of calories that we are burning.

    • Steph says:

      so many people only buy the foods and sodas because they are available. There are a few studies that have shown that people will buy something only because they have the option not necessarily because they want it.
      So take away the option in restaurants and gas stations, it's better for everyone.

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