NYC Soda Ban Goes Flat
Just a day before New York City was supposed to get un-super-sized on its soda consumption with a controversial proposal, championed by Mayor Bloomberg, to limit the size of sugary drinks served in restaurants, movie theaters, and delis, a State Supreme Court Judge (yes, the New York State Supreme Court gets involved in such matters) effectively stopped that plan. New York state Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling declared invalid Mr. Bloomberg’s plan (which was to start today) to prohibit restaurants, mobile food carts, delis and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums or arenas from selling sugary drinks in cups or containers larger than 16 ounces. As predicted, Bloomberg is none too pleased with this development, as it wrenches the power away from Bloomberg to control policy in his own city. The mayor’s office issued a “tweet” yesterday saying:
“We plan to appeal the sugary drinks decision as soon as possible, and we are confident the measure will ultimately be upheld.”
Obviously the intention behind this proposed ban was to improve the health of NYC residents while greatly limiting their sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) consumption. Under this proposed ban, if you want something larger than a reasonably sized 16-ounce cup of soda (this size used to be considered “large” back in the day) consumers will need to purchase two, or more, cups of their favorite sugary drink. The ban would impose a 16-ounce limit on any sugary bottled or fountain drinks that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. But there have been problems, both logistic and ideological, with this proposal. Some Starbucks enthusiasts say the ban would impact their ability to get their sugary-sweet Grande drinks, and the proposal doesn’t address consumer’s ability to purchase massive quantities of soda from markets, etc. In some respects, the ambition of this ban served to ultimately kill it.
What is your feeling about the ban, as well as the state Supreme Court getting involved in civic matters? Who is in the right? Do you think going the route of education would yield better results? How can we get people to curb their thirst for sodas that are obviously doing harm to the nation?