Ban of Super Sized Sodas – Regulate versus Educate?

The NYC Department of health has approved the ban of super sized sodas and sugary drinks. The regulation was approved by an expert panel of the NYC Health Department. The plan was originally proposed by Mayor Bloomberg who beliefs that this regulation will help fight obesity. The ban will go into effect in March of 2013.

According to the regulation all restaurants, delis, cinemas, stadiums and even food trucks won’t be permitted to sell sodas or sugary drinks bigger than 16 oz.  However, supermarkets are not affected by the ban.

The regulation did draw an enormous amount of anger from the community as well as beverage and restaurant associations. For a good reason fast food restaurants fear a drop in beverage revenue, certainly that of super sized sodas.

Why Do We Chose Super Sized Sodas?

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 01: Various sizes of soft ...

Super Sized Sodas (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

I have to admit, when I use to visit the movie theater with my sons, we had to have some snacks like popcorn. What is better than a combo of popcorn and soda? The value for super sized sodas and popcorn is a so-called no-brainer. A medium soda and popcorn is maybe 20 cents cheaper than super sized sodas. Of course we went for super sized sodas, which we ended up splitting among the three of us. I know it’s sounds cheap, but don’t forget that you have free refills throughout the movie. How much soda can one person drink?

In my opinion it is the Fast Food industry itself that should be blamed for super sizing everything from triple burgers to super sized sodas.  Bigger portions yield bigger revenues and maybe bigger people. Are we even capable of eating such big portions or is it just a show off. Now that the ban of super sized sodas will become effective it is up to the industry to accept this regulation and offer healthier drinks; or out smart the system by selling by selling 2 drinks for the price of one or similar.

Restrict or Educate?

The Mayor is concerned about our health, that’s significant. I guess he is also worried about the ever rising medical bills of people with diabetics etc.. The intention to encourage an obese society to live healthier is a good one. However, restricting someone’s right (to order a large drink) will likely have the opposite effect.  I think the problem lies rather deeper than just in our super sized sodas. Educating a society that lives on fast food should be a priority, not controlling their lifestyle.

What do you think?
Was the ban of super sized sodas the right thing to do? Or are there other strategies that might work?  Let me know.


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  1. I guess the good thing is that it makes people who were ignorant of the evils of soda drinks aware that there is a problem with the consumption of them. I mean, if the Department of Health makes such a big statement as this, then it must be serious.
    I agree about the freedom thing but there’s a point at which people can only be allowed to be stupid for so long and when it starts to affect us all (in the wallet for health care etc.) then maybe it’s time to step in.
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  2. What about educating our people. It should start in our schools. I know some people are ignorant, however, when it comes to your own health – I guess – people would listen and learn, but you have a point. Thanks.
    Frank Kraemer recently posted..No Kid Hungry – Calling all Food BloggersMy Profile

  3. Because too much money is at stake for the big companies. It is unfortunate, however, it is really up to the parents to educate and advocate for our children. In the end if we (as Parents) fail to lead by example then I guess the government has to step in and save our kids from more harm (eating disorders, obesity, etc)
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  4. That’s the sad truth of it.
    Suzanne Perazzini recently posted..Pasta, Mushroom and Walnut SaladMy Profile

  5. Okay I’ll start by admitting I’m a pepsi addict. I don’t drink coffee, tea or alcohol so it’s my vice. But I find it crazy how big everything is. No one needs that much soda. Ever. And I’m a soda wench so this coming from me is a big statement. I honestly don’t see anyone being able to stop it. It’s big business and we all know big business is hard to fight. I think it’s huge some people are speaking up though. It’s an amazing start.

  6. You are a drug free person :-), no coffee or tea? I couldn’t live without my coffee in the morning. You are absolutely right when it comes to big businesses, it doesn’t make any sense to fight them. However, I think we can educate and teach the same way we have done it with no smoking campaigns. Thanks.
    Frank Kraemer recently posted..No Kid Hungry – Calling all Food BloggersMy Profile

  7. Personally, I care only about health and food quality so the answer is ban the sodas (I won’t give names as I might face a cyberattack! LOL) with all that sugar and what else and teach people to drink real fruit juice or real mineral water.
    It might cost more but in the end you will spend far less for the doctor!
    And you will develop a taste for true food!

  8. I agree that education is key. This is a free country, and hopefully with more information about health everyone will vote better with their dollars. Something interesting I learned recently is that Kentucky Fried Chicken is (or was?) selling giant jugs of soda and with every purchase, they donated $1 to Juvenile Diabetes. Sad irony.
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  9. This is very sad. Well, I guess KFC got the message too and stopped that ironic promotion.
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  10. It does start with education and I think banning just one “bad thing” isn’t going to help the problem. It will only make people angry. Angry people rarely make positive change.
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  11. I totally agree with you. I think the big beverage companies should do the first step by offering healthier drinks and emphasizing its benefits.
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