If a few candidates from the D.C. council have their way Washington will be following suit of the no sugary drinks over 16 ounces ban as New York to be in effect on March 12.
Candidates running for council include: Michael Brown, Paul Zukerberg, Matthew Frumin, & Elissa Silverman. Council members Vincent Orange, David Grosso and Mary Cheh all stated their support on large soda ban back in October 2012.
However council members Anita Bonds and Perry Redd are in support of a tax on large sodas, as opposed to an outright prohibition.
Republican candidate Pat Mara was the only candidate that didn’t support a restriction or tax on large sodas.
Here is a breakdown of calories and sugars per ounces for some carbonated soft drinks. Carbonated soft drinks such as Coca Cola 12 oz can has 140 calories, and sugar 39g. A 20 oz bottles has 240 calories and 65 g of sugar, a 1 liter bottle (34oz) has 400 calories and 108g of sugar.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has made it no secret that more than half of the adults are obese or overweight. He said “obesity is a nationwide problem, and all over the United States, public health officials are wringing their hands saying, “Oh, this is terrible.”
He also stated “New York City is not about wringing their hands; it’s about doing something.” So in his effort to help the obesity epidemic he is issuing a ban on sugary drinks that are more than 25 calories per 8 ounce serving. The ban is supposed to take place this month.
Discussion regarding sugary drinks started in May 2012, and before the ban is fully implemented it will need the final approval from the Board of Health which shouldn’t be a problem because the board members are appointed by mayor Bloomberg.
The board’s chairman is the city’s health commissioner, who has fully supported the mayor in this course of action.
The ban will affect fast food chains, movie concession stands, restaurants, ball parks, delis and carts along Central Park. Corner stores and bodegas would only be affected by the ban if they are defined by the city as “food service establishment”.
Drinks such as teas, diet soda, and diary- base drinks such as milkshakes, fruit juices and alcoholic beverages are not affected by the ban.
Mayor Bloomberg has always made public health one of his top priorities during his tenure as mayor. He has taken aggressive actions such as placing a ban on smoking in restaurants, parks.
Mayor Bloomberg has also prohibited artificial trans-fat in restaurant food, and required health inspection grade to be posted in restaurants window.
To some people this may seem like freedom infringement, but many cities have taken some of the measures by New York and have become models for other cities that have put restrictions on smoking and trans fat in their state as well.
However it would appear as if the days of the Big Gulp or Super-Size drinks in DC are numbered if the city council members have their way.