New York City voted on a ban last week that prevents soda and other sugary drinks to be sold in cups larger than 16 fluid ounces. In just a few months, restaurants, fast food chains and other regulated vendors will no longer be able to sell oversized drinks in the city.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has almost literally put a lid on the problem of American obesity.
Though the ban does not affect most alcoholic drinks or those that contain more than 50 percent milk or more than 70 percent fruit juice, diet sodas and those sold at grocery stores such as 7-Eleven the opposition to the ban is comparable to the prohibition era. Unlike the end of Prohibition with the 21st Amendment, this ban could prove to be a permanent cap on Americas sweet tooth.
That is, if New Yorkers get the message.
Were not taking away anybodys right to do things. Were simply forcing you to understand that you have to make the conscious decision to go from one cup to another cup, Bloomberg said in an interview on MSNBC in May.
Though large drink sizes will be banned, patrons can still buy as much to drink as they want yet the premise is that by portioning it into smaller-sized containers, one is forced to consider the amount being consumed. This tactic should bode well for those on-the-go city dwellers who would find it impractical to carry two, three or even four drinks just to equal their normal portion size.
Approximately one-third of American adults and about 12.5 million children are considered obese by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. This epidemic of extra weight is caused by the gross negligence in society of what people eat and how much they should be eating. The country is notorious for its supersized portions and fatty diet, and until now, there have been few institutional efforts to halt the weight gain.
As a major metropolis that is constantly providing the country with new ideas, New York is expecting the ban to be the forefront of the battle against obesity.
Perhaps New Yorkers will be more accepting of Bloombergs tactics than Americans were with Georgias anti-obesity advertising campaign earlier this year, which featured overweight children and phrases such as Its hard to be a little girl if youre not, causing controversy because of the intended shock value.
The vote to ban the excessively large drinks is only the latest of policies implemented in New York to improve the health of citizens. Recently, the city has also set precedents in banning smoking in bars and demanding that calorie counts be added to menu items in restaurants. New York has always been a leading innovator, and now legislation for a healthier lifestyle for citizens is the latest idea.
Bloomberg is the first to act to truly fix the American diet. Even if this ban gets repealed like the Prohibition, Americans are finally changing their habit of overeating. The time has come for Americans to acknowledge how much they are really consuming, and to put a stop to it.
And this means buying only one 16 fluid ounce, sugary drink at a time.