The ban of sugary drinks has been proposed in New York City, and the fury that has surrounded it has been fascinating. Click here to read the CNN feature. When we look at the increase in obesity by 70% in the past decade and that one third of our children are overweight or obese, you can understand how the thinking is that people might need a little help, or a little guidance about how to make better food choices. No one is restricting the right to eat or drink what you want, all the city is trying to say is that there needs to be some thought about what is most likely making our city fatter and unhealthier. http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/765301?src=nl_topic
New York City spent 4 billion dollars last year in health related issues due to the overweight epidemic. Whether we like it or not, what we eat effects the health of our city. Sugar sweetened beverages have been implicated as one of those things leading to us gaining weight, and increasing the incidence of diabetes. Mayor Bloomberg has already established in New York ways to prevent heart disease through banning trans-fats, the no smoking policy in front of public buildings or in public parks, and now reminding us that making other choices in terms of what we drink may help prevent disease.
I for one wish that we didn’t have to make public policy about healthy choices, but we do until people understand. When the demand for oversized sugary drinks goes down, and we start becoming a healthier city and a healthier nation, then we might congratulate New York for being a pioneer in shaking up the culture a bit. Until that day, we all need to fight for our health and our children. Even if it means making it harder for people to indulge in a drink that is making them sick.