New York City Bans Sugary Drinks At Restaurants, Movie, Broadway Theaters (VIDEO)
By Valli Meenakshi Ramanathan | September 14, 2012 6:11 PM EST
In a move aimed at curbing obesity, New York City has banned the sale of sugary drinks and supersized sodas in establishments that have a food-service license.
Stating, "We cannot continue to have our kids come down with diabetes at age 6," Mayor Michael Bloomberg rejected the suggestions that the rule constituted an assault on personal liberty, adding that restaurant customers could buy as much soda as they wanted as long they carried it in multiple containers, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
Noting that the inconvenience was worth the public health benefit, Bloomberg drew a parallel with measures taken to phase out lead in household paint.
However, New Yorkers do not seem to have taken kindly to the ban. A New York Times poll showed that six in 10 people opposed the restrictions.
The move is likely to take effect in March 2013 barring any court action. Public health experts, restaurant and the soft drink industry will keenly monitor how it goes down among the city dwellers, who are a vociferous bunch.
The restrictions do not apply to supermarkets and convenience stores because the establishments are not subject to Board of Health regulation. The restrictions do not extend to beverages made of milk or unsweetened fruit juice.
Approved by an 8-0 vote with one abstention, the mayoral board disapproved sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces in almost every place they were sold. Violators of the ban face a $200 fine.
In an indication that the city remains divided, opponents cast the issue as an infringement on personal freedom. Reportedly, they intend to sue with the hope of blocking or overturning the measure.
On Twitter, Bloomberg heralded the measure's passage as "the single biggest step any government has taken to curb #obesity. It will help save lives."
"I see the crisis every single day and I feel to not act would be criminal," said Susan Klitzman, director of Hunter College's Urban Public Health Program, according to Reuters.
According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), close to one third of Americans are obese and about 10 percent of the nation's healthcare bill is tied to obesity-related diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
Data from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that obesity rates among Americans continue to rise. The OECD projects that two out of three people will be overweight or obese in some developed countries by 2020.
Commending the move, Health Commissioner Thomas Farley noted that the measure was likely to be copied elsewhere across the nation - and even the world - as were the city's restrictions on trans fat and smoking.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Pope Francis Meets Sudanese Woman Who Was Spared Death for Apostasy (PHOTOS)
- Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: King Williem-Alexander, Queen Maxima Hold Solemn Reception Ceremony for Victims
- Jennifer Lawrence & Nicholas Hoult Allegedly Split: Mad Max Actor Cheats with Kristen Stewart & Riley Keough - Reports
- Prince George Birthday: Adorable New Pictures of George Touching a Butterfly on William's Hand Released [SEE PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Apple iPhone 6 on Two Confirmed Release Dates, New Parts Leaked Suggesting Bigger iPhone to Come
- Google Nexus 6, 8 with Android L on Release Date Promises Killer Mobile Device Experience
- iPhone 6 Release Date Relevance to iOS Newbies: Specs Meaning, Price Considerations
- Xiaomi Mi4 vs OnePlusOne vs Nexus 5: Mi4 is the ‘Perfect’ Phone
- Israeli Women Stripping Naked for IDF Soldiers
- HTC One M8 Android 4.4.3 KitKat Update Roll Out, Introducing the HTC One Remix
- The Pirate Bay Releases ‘The Mobile Bay’: Mobile Torrent Download Made Easier but Remains Illegal