It’s been about two months since New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg first announced his proposal to ban the sale of soft drinks larger than 16 ounces. Polls have shown all along that the public simply does not support the ban. Supermarket News released similar numbers showing that 67 percent of people still oppose limits on soda size. Furthermore, as their infographic illustrates, putting a cap on beverage size will do nothing to curb obesity.
In the wake these polling results, skeptical scientists and a poorly scheduled hearing at the Department of Health last week (which was inconveniently located for most New Yorkers in Queens), the public has made clear that they do not want government telling them what they can and cannot drink. Which leaves us wondering – why? Why propose a ban that distracts from the real and serious problem of obesity while burdening small businesses? It’s time to take comprehensive measures to tackling obesity instead of promoting sound-bite “solutions” – and the beverage industry is committed to doing our part.
Our member companies are already making it easier for consumers to make the beverage choice that’s right for them and their families by placing calorie information on the front of every can, pack and bottle we produce. In schools, we voluntarily removed full-calorie sodas and replaced them with more low- and no- calorie choices – reducing beverage calories shipped to schools by a dramatic 88 percent since 2004. These are real, lasting efforts toward a healthier tomorrow.