All Articles Tagged "soda ban"
The anticipated soda ban that was supposed to go into effect in New York City tomorrow has been stopped by a judge who now says it would be impossible to enforce.
“The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule,” New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling wrote. He added that the rule is so “arbitrary” that it would be difficult or impossible to put into effect ”even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole.” Some businesses were exempt from the ban while others like fast food restaurants were not.
“In his ruling, Judge Tingling found the Board of Health’s mission is to protect New Yorkers by providing regulations that protect against diseases. Those powers, he argued, don’t include the authority to “limit or ban a legal item under the guise of ‘controlling chronic disease,’ ” reports The Wall Street Journal.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office promised, on Twitter, to fight the judge’s ruling. So the ban may still go into effect at some point. Enjoy your giant sodas while you can!
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.
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The New York City Board of Health today passed Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed soda ban, prohibiting the sale of sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces. The ban will go into effect March 2013 and will impact restaurants, food trucks, movie theaters and lots of other places where these large drinks are typically sold.
The ban passed eight to zero (there was an abstention, a vacancy and an absence) despite opposition from the large sugary drink companies themselves and many voters. All of the voting board members said they took the opposition into account, but felt they had to act in the face of sky-high obesity rates.
The black community has been hit hard by this epidemic. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Minority Health, “African American women have the highest rates of being overweight or obese compared to other groups in the U.S. About four out of five African American women are overweight or obese.”
Many question whether this will really have an impact on the issue it’s trying to tackle. Earlier this month, filmmaker Byron Hurt led a discussion about obesity and weight-related disease after a screening of his documentary Soul Food Junkies. The film takes a closer look at Byron’s dad who died of pancreatic cancer but, before that, spent his life eating unhealthy soul food. In the post-viewing discussion about diet and health, the soda ban, and the widespread skepticism of the policy among African-Americans, came up.
“Panelist and author Marc Lamont Hill answered that Americans have a healthy distrust of government. Mr. Hill continued by saying that government bans are often ineffective as ‘the government does not invest in providing people with a healthier alternative,’” The Wall Street Journal reports.
This is a valid point. You can put all the laws in place that you want. If there’s no alternative, people will keep doing what they’re doing. There’s no rule against buying multiple small sodas. The whole point of the ban goes out the window.
Right now, it just sounds like the government’s overstepping, getting in people’s personal business where it doesn’t belong. If the city can also come up with ways to make healthier drink options more affordable and accessible, then feelings about the government’s intentions could shift. Part of the problem is food policy, which drives up the cost of healthy food. That’s an issue that goes above and beyond what the city can do. But there have been rumblings about adding drinking fountains around the city, a great option. Make refillable water bottles widely available for free, and you might have more people drinking water instead of soda.
What do you think of the soda ban?