Mayor Bloomberg’s controversial soft drink ban, preventing New Yorkers from purchasing larger than legally acceptable sizes of a soft drink, it set to go into effect — and while most of America objected to being told what size soda they can have, some jurisdictions and entities are considering similar sanctions of their very own.
The soft drink ban enacted by Bloomberg was widely mocked by many when it was proposed last year, but regardless of public sentiment, the law was set to go into effect and will later this month — much to the consternation of summer crowds at Yankee Stadium.
Bloomberg’s soda ban was deemed paternalistic, ill-considered and generally micromanaging — and humorist Dave Barry made humorous reference to it in a review of 2013 in which he quipped about NYC’s response to Hurricane Sandy:
“But the month’s big story is “superstorm” Sandy, which devastates a large swath of the Northeast despite the courageous efforts of hundreds of TV news reporters standing on the beaches telling people to stay off the beaches. New York City is hit hard, but Mayor Bloomberg responds swiftly, ordering police to arrest anybody suspected of taking advantage of the disaster by consuming soft drinks from containers larger than 16 ounces, which could potentially cause them to become obese.”
A soft drink ban aimed at vending machines in schools is being debated in the Washington, DC suburb of Fairfax County, Virginia — where healthy eating advocates argue that powered-on soda dispensing machines are sending bad messages to kids, even if they’re not able to buy drinks at school.
A local news source quotes JoAnne Hammermaster, head of Real Food for Kids, speaking to the Washington Post about removing vending machines completely from schools. She says:
“Even if it is not available during the school day, it’s still there, advertised all day… We’ve always said at some point we wanted to talk about vending machines. We believe there is no need for sodas in schools.”
Another soft drink ban advocate told the paper that soda drinking “is a huge concern,” as soda has “addictive properties” and “can disrupt the hormones that regulate the body’s messages of hunger and satiation.”
Do you think high school kids are old enough to choose their own non-alcoholic beverages, or are soft drink bans a better way to teach kids to be responsible for their choices?