No More Big Sodas in New York

So today the Board of Health in New York approved Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sodas in excess of 16 ounces sold in city-regulated eating establishments.  The ban is likely to take effect within 6 months.  The following video from the New York Times explains the ban, and offers some commentary.  Do you think that banning large sodas to promote better health is a proper use of government?



16 responses to “No More Big Sodas in New York”

  1. roryblock1 says :

    The ban is most definitely a proper use of government. The government already puts restrictions on how old and what time we can buy alcohol and cigarettes, as well as a certain age for smoking and drinking. Sugary drinks are a health hazard, so why shouldn’t government put restrictions on soda? To top that off, as we were saying in class, everyone’s health care costs will increase do to obesity and more health problems (assuming that super-size sodas contribue to overweight America). It is not only rightful, it is the duty of the government to make sure that we don\’t have a health crisis. All of those obese people will (and are) adding up. Anything that the government can do to try to limit the amount of sugary drink someone puts into their body at one time is a good thing.

  2. Adam7 says :

    Critics of this initiative need to keep in mind that Mayor Bloomberg isn’t banning soda. He is banning soda containers that have a volume over 16 oz. If you want to exercise your freedom to drink 48 oz. of soda at a time, you still can. You just need to order three drinks instead of one. The so-called “Soda Ban” is nowhere near as great an intrusion on personal rights as many people make it out to be.

  3. Nyle4 says :

    Although it is an ineffective policy due to the fact people can just get refills or more cups, it is an example of government overstepping it’s bounds. Why is it the governments job to regulate what people are eating and drinking. What gives them the right to use their power to enforce what they think will be help people who do not want to be helped. Just because someone thinks they know better does not give them the right to force others to do so as well. It is well known that if someone eats too much unhealthy foods and drinks too much soda they will face health problems and people to do so understand this, it is their choice what they put in their bodies not mine or anybody else’s. As far as us paying for their health bills, why is it the governments job to pay for somebody who continues to put these things in their body after the amount of money spent on advertising the effects of these foods. If someone chooses not to control their intake of these foods and eats 5 big macs, fries, and a large soda every day for dinner then why should anyone else be held responsible. Even if someone doesn’t have access to grocery stores, you dont have to eat all of that food for a single meal. If they have one, two, even three burgers everyday along with a little bit of fries and soda they would not face anywhere near the same sort of health problems that people with obesity deal with. It is a lifestyle choice and the American public should not have to support it.

  4. 4thomas says :

    This is a prime example of government overstepping its bounds. Nonetheless, I think the better question to answer is, how effective will it be? Answer: not effective in the slightest bit. As Adam mentioned, customers will still be able to buy two or more of the smaller size. If the government wants to truly promote healthier eating habits it will have to take larger steps. If the government is willing to overstep its bounds, it might as well just go after the soda companies themselves and make new regulations on added sugar. Rather then writing 67 pages of purposeless law, actually go after the problem. This law will simply put up a climbable fence. If the government wants real results, they will have to make a wall. All in all, the law shouldn’t be criticized for its infringement of personal rights, but rather for its blatant ineffectiveness.

  5. Carolyn4 says :

    I agree with Adam- it must be noted that a consumer is still allowed to purchase 16 ounces of soda, maybe not in one giant cup, but if you are THAT determined to drink 16oz, you still can! That being said, I believe that Bloomberg’s law has potential to raise awareness to the problem of obesity in this country. Perhaps consumers will recognize how unhealthy drinking 16oz of soda is, and cut back on their sugar intake. Or, if they don’t really care about dieting, maybe they will choose to drink less soda because purchasing 16oz (in two cups) is more expensive. Either way, it’s safe to say that this law will decrease the consumption of soda, and that is definitely a positive change.

  6. andreaj7 says :

    The ban on sodas in excess of 16 ounces is a major step towards managing the obesity epidemic in this country. One of the roles of government is to find ways to better its people, whether it involves the health or wellbeing of its citizens. Hopefully this proposal will open the doors for more food regulation in the future.

  7. thetuck1 says :

    I agree with Tom. This passed legislature will be highly ineffective at fighting obesity. For years, the drinks at fast food eateries and restaurants have been extremely large; this is clearly shown in the video. People are used to such large drinks, and will not suddenly succumb to 16 ounces of liquid, since they can purchase more than one drink. Food regulation of this sort is not the solution. Rather than just attempt to shrink the size of unhealthy eating and drinking options, we must figure out how to make healthy options more readily available and desirable.

  8. Jonas1 says :

    While I understand Mayor Bloomberg’s intent, I don’t think this is the right way to go about promoting healthier living. Yes, sugary drinks are part of the problem, but there are many more factors to consider. Why target soda and not, say, limit french fry portions? It seems like an arbitrary measure. The part that I find most disturbing, however, is that every member of the board that passed this measure was appointed by Mayor Bloomberg himself. The fact that he can enact policy like this without any input from the people is what everyone should really be talking about.

  9. benjamin1 says :

    Building off of what Carolyn said, the awareness that this ban raises for the obesity epidemic is key. What has been left out of this discussion, is the responsibility citizens have to make good decisions with their freedom. It should not be the government’s role to correct every problem in society entirely through its own power. Though that sounds like an argument against this regulation, it is not, because this law is not the government trying to solve obesity. It is the the government calling the problem to attention, and encouraging people to understand the ramifications of over-indulgence. Little steps like this can help to create a more responsible, well-informed general public that is less prone to an obesity problem.

  10. BenLev4 says :

    This is a perfect example of the government overstepping it’s boundary’s, as it should have no say in how big a soda I can buy. Already 2 kids (Adam and Nyle) have posted ways to get around this proposal. If 2 high-schoolers (of course we are Princeton Day students) can find ways to get around this than how can this be called effective. This ban is both a waste of time and money. Although, I do agree with recent proposals passed by NY to battle obesity, I believe Bloomberg went after this the wrong way. Instead, Bloomberg should continue to focus on ways to educate the people on the “dangers” of soft drinks, and other unhealthy choices.

  11. katiepetrino4 says :

    I don’t think that the government is overreaching here. Obesity is an epidemic in this country that drives up health care costs and more mayors should follow Mr. Bloomberg’s example. Most arguments against the “ban” center around the idea that it will be bad for soda companies or doesn’t actually do anything because one can simply buy multiple cups of soda. First, the latter solves the former problem. Second, the supposed “loophole” of being able to buy several cups is not actually a loophole: the legislative intent of this law is to educate the people. By forcing people to make the conscious decision to buy more soda, they must think about the real amount they are buying. The ban doesn’t stop people from making unhealthy decisions, but it makes it more difficult for them to do so.

  12. katiepetrino4 says :

    I don’t think the government is overreaching here. Obesity is a national epidemic that drives up health care costs and other mayors should follow Mr. Bloomberg’s example. The main arguments against the “ban” center around the idea that it is bad for soda companies or is ineffective because people may purchase multiple cups of soda. First, the latter solves the former. The latter, however, is incorrect in saying that the law will be futile. The legislative intent of this law is to educate the public. Companies will not be affected because people will still be able to purchase large amounts of soda, but this law makes it more difficult for them to do so. Rather than buying one huge cup, people must make the conscious decision to buy two cups to attain the same amount and hopefully think about the consequences.

  13. jack7 says :

    I think it will be effective, but that doesn’t mean I like the idea of having just a soda/sugary drink size ban. Obviously, Americans are lazy and won’t like the idea of having to buy three or four separate cups of their beverage of choice just to quench their thirst, so it probably will be effective in that sense. But, like Jonas said, why does this only cover drinks? What about Big Macs, Whoppers, and Frappuccinos? Those are arguably just as dangerous, yet no regulation has been placed on them. Maybe this is just the beginning, but if New York City wants to combat obesity, they are going to have to regulate a whole lot more things to do it effectively. This, in the end, will be a good use of government I think, but currently is incomplete at best.

  14. mattgiannottione says :

    In 2002, Bloomberg banned smoking in restaurants and bars all over New York City. The immediate reaction was one of the same we’re all having now. People were furious and the food business thought their establishments were going to lose money. The opposite happened and many other states also adopted similar bans. New York was the first state to do this. This is almost symmetrical with this 16oz soda restriction because it is taking so much fire but we will all see improvements of health in the future. Bloomberg is simply trying to get some momentum and possibly have other states adopt the same bans. If other cities and states start banning sodas over 16oz as well, we could see a health revolution across the country. Americans alone cannot beat obesity, it will take the government.

  15. Emily1 says :

    I respect Mayor Bloomberg for supporting the ban on large sodas. I think in the long run, this is a beginning step in the battle of fighting obesity. This ban is by no means going to solve the obesity issue, but saying it won’t be effective is an understatement. No law alone can solve this problem worldwide, small steps have to be taken to get there. My criticism for this ban is that there are many bigger issues surrounding obesity that need to be taken care of. Sugary soda limits is a good start, but what about fast food restaurants like Burger King and McDonalds? Chicken sandwiches can be considered a healthy alternative to a burger at these places, averaged at 710 calories of fat and fried food. Where are the healthier options and restaurants? The government needs to provide healthier foods in a more accessible, cost-effective manor.
    I still think this is a great first step in fighting America’s obesity.

  16. Kalyn7 says :

    I’m going to take us back a few centuries by quoting Niccoló Machiavelli.

    “The end justifies the means.”

    Okay, okay I know that The Prince is incredibly cynical and that government shouldn’t operate in a Machiavellian way, but when considering whether or not the soda ban is a good thing, we should think about the “end” will be. Now the issue of sugary soft drinks and their contributions to the obesity epidemic is on the radar of everyone in America. While, like Emily said, the law won’t solve the problem, it’s a start. Most Americans didn’t know how bad soda really is but now it’s become more well known.

    That said, I’m not sure if Bloomberg was right in imposing this ban. But Matt raises a good point, which leads me to believe he is right. Either way, the ban will be great for Americans or at least New Yorkers.

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