Friday, June 8, 2012

*My* thoughts on Bloomberg's proposed plan to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz.

Hello lovelies,

I'm back with another blog post!

These are my thoughts on NYC Mayor Bloomberg's proposed plan to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. in restaurants.


As individuals we recognize the huge benefits of investing in health. Healthy people are more productive, energetic, and happier. For example, the health of children and their learning is reciprocally related. The World Medical Association states, that when we live longer, healthier lives, we have more time to do our jobs, play with our children, and watch our grandchildren grow up. 

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in an effort to combat obesity has proposed to ban sugary drinks larger than 16 oz in restaurants, movie theaters, concession stands, and food carts (basically any establishment regulated by the health department). The idea is that someone would drink less soda and sugary drinks if they can only purchase those smaller than 16 oz. I think we as a people eat what we see. We eat certain foods, because they are readily available and easy to get. Soda and other sugary drinks are affordable and plentiful. They are everywhere and addictive; let’s face it, sugar can be a drug.

As a health educator, I can tell you through research and my studies, in communities where people suffer the most ill health, there tends to be an abundance of fast food restaurants that sell processed foods, junk foods etc. People who live in those neighborhoods tend to gravitate to those foods more so than healthier food, because they are more affordable and again plentiful. 

I personally think that if the plan is passed, people would be less likely to buy two 16 oz drinks, thus reducing their intake of sugar and would most likely just get one drink. If drinks larger than 16 oz don’t exist, guess what people won’t buy it. I personally think the ban is a good idea. Rates of obesity and non-communicable disease (stroke, diabetes, respiratory illness, cardiovascular disease, cancers) are skyrocketing. There is an epidemic of people being overweight, border line obese in this country. The western way of eating highly processed foods is extremely problematic to our health. 

I think the ban on sugary drinks higher than 16 oz would curb rates of illness and death, and disease (I am not naive to think that this whole obesity problem would be solved). I don't see the ban as 'punishing anyone. The proposed ban is only making those drinks less visible. It would force people to make a conscious decision of how much sugary drinks that they intake.

Do I think that the mayor is telling people how to live and what to drink? No. If the ban is passed, people would still have the choice to drink as much soda and other sugary drinks as they want. I think that not having sugary drinks larger than 16 oz will lead to more individuals drinking less sugary drinks, less sugar. Long term, I think this ban will improve the health of New Yorkers and individuals in general. Also, this is just one way of improving the health of this country and decreasing illness/disease. It is NOT THE WAY TO DO IT.

With this said, the mayor has a lot of 'fighting' to do, because this is not a well liked plan.

 Click on the link to listen to the mayor talk more on the proposed ban

 What are your thoughts on the proposed ban?