I have been talking about this for months now. And at times have taken a lot of flak for my stance on this issue. But I am super happy with the outcome. New York City has passed the first U.S. ban of oversized sugary drinks. This is its latest controversial step to reduce obesity and its deadly complications in a nation that is fatter than ever.
By a vote of eight members in favor, with one abstaining, the mayoral-appointed city health board outlawed sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces nearly everywhere they are sold, except groceries and convenience stores. Violators of the ban, which does not include diet sodas, face a $200 fine.
How cool is that? Finally a government is taking a stance on a substance that causes more deaths than tobacco and alcohol combined. Maybe it’s time we opened up a Sugar Anonymous. It’s time to take this problem seriously and I for one am pleased that the city I call home finally got something right.
Opponents of course feel it’s an infringement on personal freedom. They’ve even been reported to call Mayor Michael Bloomberg an overbearing nanny. And they’ve vowed to continue their fight, possibly by going to court in the hopes of blocking or overturning the measure before it takes effect in March.
But let’s face it folks…if people could be left to their own devices millions of people wouldn’t be overweight and at risk for serious health consequences. Consequences that everyone else’s tax dollars end up paying for.
New York City’s Health Commissioner Thomas Farley predicts the measure will be copied elsewhere in the nation–and even the world. Just as the city’s ban on trans fats and smoking.
When study after study (two more released just recently) come out about the dangers of sugar sweetened beverages, it’s high time for regulations to kick in. And, yes, it would be nice to not to have to go to such an extreme…but don’t ever let it be said you weren’t warned.