New York may lose its sugary fizz fix

Mayor calls for ban on sale of super-sized soft drinks

By Avimuktesh Bhardwaj
Published: Friday 01 June 2012

The Mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has called for a ban on the sale of large servings of sweetened drinks, including carbonated and energy drinks, at restaurants, movie theatres and street carts in an attempt to fight obesity. More than 50 per cent adults in the city are overweight.

Bloomberg made the announcement on May 30. As per the proposal, sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces, which is a little more than 473 ml, would be prohibited. The measure would not apply to dairy-based drinks like milkshakes, fruit juices, alcoholic beverages and diet sodas or the grocery stores, which will still be able to sell the large-sized drinks. Drinks with less than 25 calories per 8 ounces (227 grammes) will also not get affected. The proposal will require the approval of the Board of Health of the city, after which it may come into force by next March.

The city administration blames sweetened drinks for the increasing the rate of obesity in the city. According to the Centers for Chronic Disease Control and Prevention, 41 per cent of the total added sugar consumed by Americans comes from beverages. The New York City Beverage Association, however, dismissed the argument for Bloomberg’s proposal and termed it unfair for singling out sweetened drinks as the reason for obesity.

A lab study conducted by Delhi non-profit Centre for Science and Environment  in March found high levels of sugar in carbonated beverages available in India. The study found that consuming just one 300 ml bottle of Coke or Pepsi exceeds our daily quota of added sugar by huge margin. The dietary guidelines for Indians by the National Institute of Nutrition recommend equal to or less than 25 g of sugar for an adult male. Both Coke and Pepsi were found to have about 14 g of sugar per 100 ml.


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