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Opinion

Soda Ban Explained

Now for new proposal from the New York city Mayor Blumberg, which is being met with mixed reactions. As we told you on Thursday he wants to outlaw large sodas and sugary drinks to help fight the obesity epidemic. Mayor Blumberg, is with us this morning…

There’s been a lot of talk about the proposed sugary drink ban. In an attempt to understand the proposal I called the Mayor’s office, and they sent me these. “The New York City Obesity Task Force Plan To Prevent and Control Obesity” a collection of statements in support of the proposal, the notice of public hearing and the actual proposed amendment of article 81. Sixty-seven pages in total. So I thought I’d try to reduce the sugary drink ban down to a simple explanation. A sort of simple explanation.  

So, most restaurants have three sizes: small, medium, and large. At McDonald’s that’s 16ounces, 21 ounces, and 32 ounces. His proposal prohibits sugary drinks larger than sixteen ounces.  

That part makes sense. A large coke at McDonald’s is like drinking four eight ounce bottles. It’s a hundred and four grams of sugar. We don’t need that. Same deal at Subway, got to be sixteen ounces. This big guy here is the same as drinking four and a half cans of coke while at the movies. That’s a hundred and seventy five and one half grams of sugar. Starbucks is okay, except for Venti. And of course….

The way it would work is simply those organizations, those industries, that we regulate which are restaurants and movie theaters and carts… What the Mayor just mumbled was that only food service establishments regulated by the city will be affected. So, because they’re not regulated by the city, 7-11 will still be able to sell whatever size Slurpees they want.  

And when I get a Subway, I can just walk across the street to get my fifty-four ounce coke. And that humungous Starbucks is okay because it’s not sweetened by the establishment, I add the sugar. Same with coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts. And while you’re there you can grab a thirty-two ounce oreo vanilla-bean coolada with a whopin’ hundred and fifty grams of sugar because there’s also an exception that if the drink contains more than fifty percent milk.

Even still, if you wanted to get real weird you could just go to the drug store and buy a two-litre bottle of coke, or just buy two cokes. See, preventing people from drinking what they want is not the goal of the ban.

If you want to order two cups at the same time, that’s fine, it’s your choice, we’re not taking away anybody’s right to do things. We’re simply forcing you to understand…

I’ll take you out of context right there Mr. Mayor: forcing you to understand. People in New York, like people in the rest of America, are fat and getting fatter. And whether or not this ridiculous ban passes it has forced a conversation about why people are getting fat and that, that’s a good thing.

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