When Mayor Bloomberg announced a plan to ban large soda, it was such an unusual decision it sent waves of controversy, confusion and shock. Today, New Yorkers are set to vote on the large soda ban. If approved, will the large soda ban actually change something?
While Michael R. Bloomberg has the support of doctors and nutrition experts, soda industry executives aren’t all that concerned. In the end, just like spokesman Eliot Hoff for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices said, “Mayor Bloomberg will not be mayor forever”. So, in a nutshell it’s up to people making a choice for better health or diabetes.
Mayor Bloomberg’s plan is to ban large sodas that exceed the limit of 16 ounces. It’s an unprecedented plan. It’s the sort of measure that once approved could make others take action too. It’s the kind of thing the soda industry doesn’t want to hear about. So, they’ve been supporting and promoting a public-relations campaign that argues the mayor is violating consumers’ rights.
But many of the New Yorkers expected to go vote today on the large soda ban know better. In the end, previous measures such as banning trans fats, lead in paint and smoking in bars have actually paid off. So, why wouldn’t an idea like banning large soda actually work? It the end, it can’t hurt.
Sugar-based drinks are one of the leading factors in the development of obesity. Data says that 6,000 New Yorkers die of obesity each year. One in eight New Yorkers has diabetes, while more than 50 percent of adult New Yorkers are overweight or obese. On the overall, obesity costs the New York City over $4 billion each year. As 60 percent of that is covered by Medicare and Medicaid, this means all citizens pay for it.
Sure, it doesn’t look like much from the outside, but banning large soda would mean New Yorkers would avoid gaining 2.3 million pounds a year, not to even mention medical costs and saved lives. It stands to reason this is one of the measures that could really benefit people in more ways than one. Obviously, it’s not enough to fight off obesity, but it’s good enough to inspire similar measures.