On March 12th the Bloomberg administration’s new soda regulations will hit New York City. Under the first-of-its-kind soft drink prohibition meant to fight obesity, restaurants and mobile food carts can’t sell sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces and after a three-month grace period, the city will fine violators $200 per sale. This legislation, approved by the Board of Health last year, does not impact convenience and grocery stores.
Some business owners are taking to action quickly, investing in new cups and glasses to comply. Dunkin’ Donuts has started posting signs to educate customers. Others are holding out to the last minute to see if the law will be postponed or overturned based on a lawsuit filed in October by a number of groups, including the American Beverage Association, National Association of Theatre Owners of New York State, the National Restaurant Association. That has yet to be ruled upon.
Although the Department of Health sent out a sheet of frequently asked questions to 24,000 food service establishments and encouraged them to call 311 with questions. A week before the ban many are still confused about all the rules and how strictly they will be enforced.
Many restaurant owners are in disbelief. Brother Jimmy’s BBQ Josh Lebowitz said, “All of our sodas were in large glasses, it just seemed appropriate. We tend to serve everything oversized. It’s a little bit funny that it’s actually happening, I never thought this would be legislated.”
First Lady Michelle Obama has come under some criticism by those who think the government has overstepped with its efforts to combat obesity. What do you think of the coming soda ban? If you’re not in NYC, is this something that you would like to see where you live? Word is that some candidates for city council in Washington DC would like to see a similar ban there.
Follow CAP on Twitter: @in_allcaps