'Soda Ban' Passes in NYC: What the Fizz?



The New York City Board of Health voted to regulate the sale of super-sized sodas within city limits.

This policy — which goes into effect next March — will prohibit the city's restaurants, food carts and concession stands from offering sugary beverages in containers larger than 16 ounces. It's not just soda sales that will be restricted, either — the sale of large energy drinks and sweetened iced teas will also be regulated.

On the flip side, the new rules will only apply to establishments that require graded health inspections from the Board of Health. This means that supermarkets, vending machines and convenience stores (like the city's numerous 7-11s) will not be forced to comply with the new rules. In addition, the sale of juices, dairy-based drinks, zero-calorie sodas and alcoholic beverages will remain exempt from size regulation when the ban goes into effect.

“NYC’s new sugary drink policy is the single biggest step any gov’t has taken to curb #obesity,” tweeted Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who proposed the ban earlier this year. Bloomberg has also pointed out that the new policy will only restrict container sizes, as there's nothing stopping an NYC resident from purchasing multiple sugary drinks at once, if they so choose. “I don’t think it’s government’s job to ban people from doing things, with a handful of exceptions," he has said about the new regulations. "But generally, it’s government’s job to tell you the facts of what is bad for you and let you make your own decision.”

And while some applaud Bloomberg's efforts to crack down on obesity and diabetes, the city's new regulations have drawn much criticism from opponents, like Eliot Hoff, the spokesman for New Yorkers for Beverage Choices. "We’re smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink,” said Hoff, who plans to fight the ruling in court. "We are exploring legal options, and all other avenues available to us.”  

We want to know what our readers think of NYC's upcoming "Soda Ban." Does it curb fat, or does it leave you flat?