The proposal to ban servings of sugary drinks of over 16 ounces heated up last week as it got backing from weight loss experts such as Weightwatchers and Jenny Craig, amongst others. If it is put into action, the ban will prevent the sale of super-sized sugary drinks in New York City.
Supporters of the proposal say that the ban will force New Yorkers to rethink their portion size and is a sensible way to help them cut calories without trying. Opponents claim that the government is overreaching and that the ban will have little effect on obesity rates.
President of Weight Watchers North America, David Burwick says: “Today, we live in a world where despite our best intentions, it’s oftentimes very difficult on your own to make the healthy choice. We all need to take more personal responsibility for our own weight and eating habits, but it helps to remember what a healthy portion size is in a world where super-size portions have become the norm.”
The ban will apply to high sugar drinks, not to low sugar drinks or water, alcohol, or beverages that are more than 70% juice or 50% milk. A vote on the proposal is expected today and, if passed, it could take effect by March 2013.
According to Michael Bloomberg, NYC spends an estimated $4 billion on obesity related diseases a year. During his 11 years as Mayor, Bloomberg has done his best to try to make New Yorkers more aware of their health. He has already urged restaurants to display calorie contents on their menus and banned artificial trans fats in restaurants.
By putting an upper limit on high sugar drinks, many people will take on fewer calories without even knowing it (the kind that you don’t really want but you gulp down just before you throw away the carton). So whilst there will be no law on how much sugary drink you can consume; you can buy as many 16 oz drinks as you like, the regulation on portion control will make people think more about calorie content and how much they are consuming.
Critics of the proposal have formed a group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, and claim to have the backing of over 2,000 businesses and 201,000 individuals. In fact, a poll conducted by the New York Times showed that 60% of New Yorkers were against the idea. The group says that the City is taking its authority too far and that New Yorkers should be free to make their own choices and that obesity is more complex than cutting drink sizes.
What is certain is that obesity rates are rising, and with sugary drinks being such high-profit products, businesses may be reluctant to back the proposed limit on high sugar drink sizes. But maybe it is time for us all to be more aware of what we are consuming.
If you are struggling with weight loss and would like help in taking the first step to changing your habits, your weight and your life then contact us today on 1.866.668.9263.