New York City Mayor Proposes Ban on Large Sodas: What Do You Think?

In education, exercise, fitness, New York City, nutrition, obesity, wellness on June 1, 2012 at 3:20 am

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a ban on all bottled and fountain sodas larger than 16 ounces.  It does not prohibit diet sodas, fruit juices, dairy-based drinks, like milkshakes, and alcohol.

The ban, which is expected to pass, applies to restaurants, movie theaters, ballpark concession stands and food carts.  It does not apply to supermarkets.

The mayor cites the obesity epidemic as the reason for this.  In fact, in New York City alone, more than half adults are overweight or obese, according to the Health Department.

As a nutrition and wellness coach, I often speak of the problems associated with sugar and the obesity epidemic–but I must admit, I have some very mixed feelings about this.

It seems to me that this only puts a bandaid–and a pretty ineffective one at that–on the root problem.  Might the time and effort–and I assume money–be better spent on education, prevention and research? What would keep a person from just re-filling the smaller glass?

Wouldn’t it be better to focus on personal responsbility and get to the root of the problem?  Wouldn’t it be better, say, for insurance policies to include  wider coverage for education and prevention, for instance, gyms and nutrition and wellness experts–who could work with the people to help them alter their unhealthy habits forever?

And why target soda?  Frankly, diet drinks are just as problematic, if not more so–given a choice, I know I would drink a regular soda than diet.  And, ironically, tomorrow is National Donut Day.  Really?  How much sugar is in those? I know one tiny chocolate cake donut has at least three (3) teaspoons of sugar in it.  Dairy-based drinks don’t add to the obesity problem?    What about the huge flavored coffees that sometimes pack as many as 10 teaspoons of sugar?

According to a report on NBC New York, It’s not the first time the mayor has tried to limit consumption of sugary drinks by city residents: in 2010, he proposed that food stamps be prevented from being used for sugary drinks, stating at the time that people needed to be protected from diseases like diabetes and cancer.

Once again, that personal responsibility issue….

Tell me what you think of this.  I’d love to hear ALL of your comments, whether or not you live in New York City.

Do you agree or not?



Irene Ross, CHHC, AADP is a certified nutrition and wellness coach who helps people instantly double their energy so they avoid that mid-morning or afternoon slump, get more done in less time and balance their lives.  Author of the forthcoming book, 25 Ways to Fire Up Your Day:  Increase Energy, Get More Done in Less Time, Balance Your Life, her website is:

She writes a free, twice-monthly newsletter, ‘Power Wellness,” full of tips for healthy eating and lifestyle.

Like her page on Facebook:  ( and get a free download of her report, Sugar’s Sour Story.  Also on Twitter (@yetmorehealth), LinkedIn and Pinterest.

  1. This is interesting. I think the sentiment is right, in that at least Bloomberg is cognizant of the problem, but I agree that it seems like sort of a stopgap measure. I like your idea about insurance companies providing coverage for gym membership. I know my insurance company does this, and it definitely makes the gym membership an automatic purchase. Anyway, if they really wanted to go after calorie-dense drinks they should target alcohol. I’m sure that would go over well, haha.

    • Hi James–Thanks so much for your comments! I love that your insurance company does this and some, I know, even provide incentives if employers provide wellness programs for their employees. Of course, there’s the problem of so many people being unemployedmaybe there could be a few free places set up. I’m sure a lot of wellness coaches would volunteer at least a little bit of their time…

  2. Great article, Irene. I agree that it’s just putting a band-aid on the problem, but I do think the major is trying to find a way to change people’s habits. But people won’t change their habits unless they really want to–they need a big enough reason to do that. More education and wellness programs are needed, so people can make informed decisions. The best part about what the major did, I think, is that now everyone is talking about it. His speech brought more awareness to the issue, because he tried to regulate it, than all the articles we write, the news items and the wellness programs. It will be interesting to see what changes from it.

    • Hi Christine: Thanks so much for your comments. Well, you’re right–people certainly are talking about it….

  3. […] and Prevention: Creating Public Service Campaigns About Type 2 DiabetesNew York City Mayor Proposes Ban on Large Sodas: What Do You Think .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 […]

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