New York’s Mayor Bloomberg is at it again. The dominutive politician has spearheaded big campaigns against salt, trans fats, and smoking in the city, and has championed a major increase in the number of bike lanes, among other health-related efforts. Now he’s proposing to ban the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces at NYC restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and delis.
The proposal is aimed at fighting the epidemic of obesity, citing public health statistics showing that nearly 60 percent of New York City adults and almost 40 percent of the city’s public school children are obese or overweight.
Bloomberg’s ban plan defines sugary drinks as beverages that are “sweetened with sugar or another caloric sweetener that contains more than 25 calories per 8 fluid ounces and contains less than 51 percent milk or milk substitute by volume as an ingredient. The ban would not affect diet soda or dairy-based beverages.
The proposed ban on sugary drinks requires the approval of the city’s Board of Health. It will be submitted to the board on June 12.
The mayor’s battle against biggie drinks has been criticized as another example of the creeping nanny state, and mocked by late night comedians including Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
The funny thing is, if you have both hands free, there would be nothing stopping you from ordering two 16-ounce beverages instead of one 32-ouncer.
We know the mayor means well, but really, what’s he going to crusade about next? Reducing the portion size of New York style pizza by the slice?
But there’s no doubt portion sizes of almost every kind of food and drink have grown steadily over the years. The website MakingHealthEasier.org calls it “The New (Ab)Normal.” As portion sizes have grown, so have our waistlines. Coincidence?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has a quiz to test your knowledge about the growth of portion sizes (and people sizes) in America. You can try your hand at it here.
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