Just three short months ago, a New York Supreme Court Judge struck down the New York City Board of Health’s proposal to ban sugar-sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces at certain establishments, including movie theaters and sports venues, calling the rule “arbitrary and capricious” and in violation of the Board of Health’s authority.
Despite the judge’s strong ruling, the City’s Board of Health appealed the ruling and oral arguments were heard today in a state court of appeals, with the city once again speculating that obesity rates warrant such restrictions.
But, this crusade on sugar-sweetened beverages is no way to fight obesity.
From 1999 to 2010, full-calorie soda sales declined 12.5% while obesity rates went up. According to the CDC, added sugars consumed from sugar-sweetened beverages are down 39 percent, thanks in part to more low- and zero-calorie choices. And, according to government data, sugar-sweetened beverages like sodas, juice drinks, sports drinks and teas account for only 7 percent of calories in the average American’s diet. With 93 percent of calories coming from other foods and beverages, it’s time to look at the bigger picture.
Restrictions that target a specific size of beverage – or a single food or beverage for that matter - do nothing to change behaviors or teach people about a healthy lifestyle. Only education about diet and exercise can do that.
America’s beverage companies know that some of our products contain calories (while many don’t). That’s why we’ve placed clear calorie labels on the front of every can, bottle and pack we produce so consumers know exactly how many calories they are getting before they make a purchase. To learn more about how our member companies are coming together to support meaningful initiatives, visit DeliveringChoices.org.