Residents of NYC are getting ready for the ban on large sugary soft drinks which takes effect Tuesday, March 12. Mayor Bloomberg has spearheaded this edict to thwart the rising obesity and diabetes cases amongst a growing (no pun) youthful population. The empty calories in soda is identified by many health and nutrition experts as one of the leading culprits to this growing problem. The ban would make the sale of soda, or a presweetened drink, containing sugar to be sold in 16 ounce sizes or smaller. Any size larger than 16 ounces would be prohibited.
So what does this really mean? Large drink containers will still be available at convenience stores and grocery stores - in other words, places that are not regulated by the city’s health department. The sale of two 16 ounce drinks (32 ounces total) to one person will be okay. Coffee shops may be exempt for coffee drinks if the sugar is provided on the side. Starbucks feels they may be exempt because of the milk content in their speciaty drinks. Drinks that are more than 50 percent milk (or milk substitute) are exempt from the regulations because the city considers milk a valuable source of nutrition. Despite the big gulp being the poster child during the infancy of this campaign 7-Eleven is exempt from the ban due to the fact that they are regulated by the state and not by the city. Milkshakes are not part of the ban because of the milk content and diet soda drinks are exempt.
Let's face it, the ban is not prohibition and we shouldn't expect to see barrels of Dr Pepper floating near the coast of Atlantic City.The ban will make some people more aware of the reasons behind it and others to rebel against it. The majority of people, in between, will go on as usual with no dog in the fight. Either way, the coffers of NYC will see $200 fines begin to ring up after a short grace period. Consumers will never be subject to any fines. Fines will be levied only to the establishments that defy the edict.
Is the Dunkin Donut tax is not far behind?