American Beverage Association

June 1, 2012

Absurd: Ridiculously Unreasonable, Unsound and Incongruous

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sugar-sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces throughout the city will do nothing to solve the obesity crisis, and the campaign behind the proposal places 100 percent of the blame on 7 percent of the calories in the average American’s diet. When considering the Mayor’s proposal, keep in mind the following facts which he chooses to ignore:

  • By nearly every measure, the contribution of calories from beverages to the diet is declining, yet obesity is still rising.
  • Since 1998, the average calories per serving from beverages is down 23 percent due to more low- and zero-calorie beverages.
  • Added sugars consumed from soda is down 39 percent since 2000, according to the CDC.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages – like soda, ready-to-drink teas, sport drinks, juice drinks and flavored waters, account for only 7 percent of calories in the average American’s diet, according to government data. With 93 percent of our calories coming from other foods and beverages, meaningful steps to reduce obesity need to look at the bigger picture.
  • From 1999-2010, full-calorie soda sales have declined 12.5 percent.
  • We’re delivering what Americans want and helping people find the beverage that’s right for them with our Clear on Calories initiative. By placing new calorie labels on the front of every bottle, can and pack we produce, we’re giving consumers the information so they can choose the beverage that is best for them and their families.
  • While New York City removed full-calorie sodas from schools across the five boroughs, the beverage industry did it across the country with the national School Beverage Guidelines, reducing beverage calories in schools by 88 percent nationwide.

The Mayor’s proposal simply defies common sense. Under this proposal, you and your family can still go to Yankee Stadium and order all of the following contributors to 93 percent of your daily calories: hot dogs, corn dogs and crinkle-cut fries; hamburgers with all of the fixings; nachos with all of the toppings; pretzels with cheese; pulled-pork and pulled-chicken sandwiches; cheese, pepperoni and sausage pizza; chicken fingers and a variety of french fries, including garlic fries and cheese fries; sweet and hot Italian sausages; regular, hot and barbecue chicken wings; freshly popped popcorn; fried dough, fried Twinkies and fried Oreos; soft-serve chocolate and vanilla ice cream; and finally, a few 32-ounce beers to wash it all down. The list goes on and on.

But don’t you DARE try to buy a 20-ounce bottle of soda at the ballpark.

We all agree that when listed in black and white terms, the Mayor’s methodology is absurd: ridiculously unreasonable, unsound and incongruous.


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