Mayor Bloomberg wants to ban the Big Gulp

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Just saw a segment on CNN's Situation Room about NYC Mayor Bloomberg wanting to ban large sugary sodas. It would affect restaurants and other eateries, limiting the size sugary drinks could be sold in to 16 ounces. For reference, a McDonald's Large is 32 ounces, the Small is 16.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/bloomberg-plans-a-ban-on-_n_1557851.html

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to propose a far-reaching municipal ban on sales of large-size sugary beverages by restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and delis, his administration said on Wednesday.

Ah, here's a Reuters article on it, in case you don't like Huff Po. Though the Huff Po one seems to be sourced from Reuters anyway.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/31/us-usa-sugarban-reaction-idUSBRE84U1BN20120531

On Wednesday, Bloomberg proposed amending the city's health code to prohibit many places from selling soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.
...
The ban would apply to restaurants, mobile food carts, delicatessens and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums and arenas where sales of fountain drinks are common. It would not apply to convenience, grocery or drug stores, which mostly sell beverages in bottles and cans.

What depressingly stupid legislation. Fast food places generally offer free refills, so a person could hang out and drink more anyway. The ban doesn't apply to diet drinks, so unless a place just stopped carrying cups larger than 16 oz, a person could order a diet then go fill it with regular at places with serve yourself. Most convenience stores have serve yourself fountain drinks, so to comply they'd have to just stop carrying the larger cups or keep them and the diet drinks behind the counter or something. And finally, it doesn't seem to apply to vending machines at all.

What the hell are they smoking up there?

No captcha, the butler didn't do it. The Bloomberg did!

Free refills? Wow, land of opportunity indeed. x) We have to pay through the nose for drinks here.

Though, I wonder perhaps if that's a better solution? To start charging for drinks instead. It would certainly bring in a fair bit of cash.

Because apparently Bloomberg hasn't proven himself useless enough.

evilneko:
Just saw a segment on CNN's Situation Room about NYC Mayor Bloomberg wanting to ban large sugary sodas. It would affect restaurants and other eateries, limiting the size sugary drinks could be sold in to 16 ounces. For reference, a McDonald's Large is 32 ounces, the Small is 16.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/30/bloomberg-plans-a-ban-on-_n_1557851.html

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to propose a far-reaching municipal ban on sales of large-size sugary beverages by restaurants, mobile food carts, movie theaters and delis, his administration said on Wednesday.

Ah, here's a Reuters article on it, in case you don't like Huff Po. Though the Huff Po one seems to be sourced from Reuters anyway.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/05/31/us-usa-sugarban-reaction-idUSBRE84U1BN20120531

On Wednesday, Bloomberg proposed amending the city's health code to prohibit many places from selling soft drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces.
...
The ban would apply to restaurants, mobile food carts, delicatessens and concessions at movie theaters, stadiums and arenas where sales of fountain drinks are common. It would not apply to convenience, grocery or drug stores, which mostly sell beverages in bottles and cans.

What depressingly stupid legislation. Fast food places generally offer free refills, so a person could hang out and drink more anyway. The ban doesn't apply to diet drinks, so unless a place just stopped carrying cups larger than 16 oz, a person could order a diet then go fill it with regular at places with serve yourself. Most convenience stores have serve yourself fountain drinks, so to comply they'd have to just stop carrying the larger cups or keep them and the diet drinks behind the counter or something. And finally, it doesn't seem to apply to vending machines at all.

What the hell are they smoking up there?

No captcha, the butler didn't do it. The Bloomberg did!

What i find the most retarded is that he wouldn't limit the size of diet drinks as well. Heck diet drinks are worse for people's health.

Anyway. Maybe starting with banning "refills" would prove more useful. But I am not really sure i can appreciate the whole point of what he's trying to achieve.

Nooooooooooooooooooo! I live on large sodas! We can't let this take off, I need my sugary treats, damn it!

There are restrictions on the volume of alcohol that can be sold in one drink, and sugary drinks in those sort of quantities do present a danger to health. It's not going to stop people from buying another cup or getting a refill, but that is inconvenient, and also serves as a reminder of how much you've drunk.

GothmogII:
Free refills? Wow, land of opportunity indeed. x) We have to pay through the nose for drinks here.

Though, I wonder perhaps if that's a better solution? To start charging for drinks instead. It would certainly bring in a fair bit of cash.

You pay for the first one and they offer the free refills because few people take the option. Hell, I think the majority of fast food sales are done through the drive-thru in the U.S. I imagine this is much lower in countries with less car utilization.

It seems like a silly, ineffective idea.

I feel like, even if this manages to get any sort of traction, McDonalds is going to have enough lawyers and lobbyists on the case to convince the legislature it's a fucking stupid idea.

Loopholes left by this law:

Ordering two 8 ounce soda.

Give them an 8 ounce soda with one refill.

Make your soda 15.90 ounces.

Change the name of your product to something besides "Soda" (similar thing happened when California tried to ban "magnum" ammo, so ammo companies changed the labels).

Make your drinks without sugar, using something worse like corn syrup instead.

Say it is a religious item, used by some sect of Christianity instead of wine.

Say it is a medical item, prescribed by one doctor you totally didn't bribe.

Shall I go on?

Wow. It's almost like he's intentionally trying to be ineffective. Would that technically make him effective then?

generals3:

What i find the most retarded is that he wouldn't limit the size of diet drinks as well. Heck diet drinks are worse for people's health.

Why's that?

generals3:

Heck diet drinks are worse for people's health.

I gotta do it.

image

LetalisK:
Wow. It's almost like he's intentionally trying to be ineffective. Would that technically make him effective then?

generals3:

What i find the most retarded is that he wouldn't limit the size of diet drinks as well. Heck diet drinks are worse for people's health.

Why's that?

Common misconception, it's not actually true.

lolwut?

He can keep his hatred of sugar up there, I'll end anyone trying to take away sugar drinks down here. It's hard enough to find cane sugar drinks in the first place >.>

Stupid move.
/thread

On a more serious note, the idea of banning stuff is generally going to go bad. You either end up looking stupid (like here) or looking like an asshole (see gay marriage issue). Even if we put aside the stupidity involved in this move, banning the drinks is not going to solve the "problem"; it'll just move it somewhere else.

So yeah. More stupid stuff coming out of American governments. Kind of a trend going these days.

evilneko:

Common misconception, it's not actually true.

yeah, I know this, but I wanted to see why he thinks that so I don't argue against a point he wasn't going to make. The keyword I'm looking for is "aspartame".

Pingieking:
Even if we put aside the stupidity involved in this move, banning the drinks is not going to solve the "problem"; it'll just move it somewhere else.

Truly. As one of the guests during the Situation Room segment pointed out, sugary drinks are just one of many factors in the obesity problem. And for some people, it's not even a factor.

LetalisK:

evilneko:

Common misconception, it's not actually true.

yeah, I know this, but I wanted to see why he thinks that so I don't argue against a point he wasn't going to make. The keyword I'm looking for is "aspartame".

Hey, go ahead and argue it. I'm not on his side but I'm happy to read more information about anything nutrition-related.

----

As for the OP:

I agree with the intent, but not the plan. We drink far, far too many sugary beverages in this country and it seems that this more than anything else is a factor in our obesity epidemic. And it's entirely unnecessary.

For example, the vending machine outside my apartment only dispenses 20oz (.5 L) Colas. That's 240 calories per bottle. I've been to restaurants and had filling meals for only a little more than double that. No one needs to drink half a meal's worth of calories in a single beverage. No one needs a 32 oz. cola.

Now that doesn't mean we need a ban. If anything, it's obvious that a ban is just going to provoke right-wing partisans to jerk their knees and proclaim that the whole healthy-eating movement is just another attempt at government control. Ah well, maybe we'll get lucky and they'll guzzle more Fizzyglug (TM) out of spite. And then spend the rest of their lives obese and suffering from severe kidney stone pain.

And what's this legislation going to solve? It certainly won't stop people from drinking less soda, they can simply buy more or get a refill. Instead of trying to legislate behaviour the US should instead consider regulating the soft drinks industry.

Katatori-kun:

LetalisK:

evilneko:

Common misconception, it's not actually true.

yeah, I know this, but I wanted to see why he thinks that so I don't argue against a point he wasn't going to make. The keyword I'm looking for is "aspartame".

Hey, go ahead and argue it. I'm not on his side but I'm happy to read more information about anything nutrition-related.

._. Are...are you grading me?

Assuming that particular chemical was going to come up and that it was linked to cancer, I was going to note that aspartame has been approved more than once by the FDA, investigated by the CDC, countless other government agencies foreign and abroad, and independently investigated by toxicologists. The scientific consensus is that its not harmful.

Then we have this: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-712605.html

I was actually in a discussion with someone who used that link, and this is probably more on a personal note, but it amazed me that they didn't even read their own link. It says that the study shows a link between aspartame and certain forms of cancer in mice. If one were to only read the headline and a paragraph or two, as it seems many people do, it would seem aspartame is in fact very bad for you. That's just how the news works though, sensationalism gets views. But then the article actually goes on to heavily qualify the results and show that these results are an outlier and that the study will need to be redone.

Too often I find people see a legitimate study say something and assume it's absolutely true without realizing that on most subjects there are going to be some dissenting studies. That's why it's important to consider the whole body of research on a subject and see where the consensus lies. Quite frankly, the scare against aspartame is simply pop-science that some people believe is true because its been told to them so many times. What I still don't understand is why this myth persists so strongly. I have to assume there are people profiting from such sensationalist claims and hoaxes, because I can see no other reason why.

LetalisK:
Quite frankly, the scare against aspartame is simply pop-science that some people believe is true because its been told to them so many times. What I still don't understand is why this myth persists so strongly. I have to assume there are people profiting from such sensationalist claims and hoaxes, because I can see no other reason why.

I actually have a friend who genuinely believes that aspartame turns into styrofoam when metabolized and clogs up your blood vessels. He seriously believes this. No surprise, he's a fitness nut. When I started trying to get in shape, I spent more time filtering out all the bullshit and snake oil sales pitches than I actually spent dieting or in the gym.

DrVornoff:

LetalisK:
Quite frankly, the scare against aspartame is simply pop-science that some people believe is true because its been told to them so many times. What I still don't understand is why this myth persists so strongly. I have to assume there are people profiting from such sensationalist claims and hoaxes, because I can see no other reason why.

I actually have a friend who genuinely believes that aspartame turns into styrofoam when metabolized and clogs up your blood vessels. He seriously believes this. No surprise, he's a fitness nut. When I started trying to get in shape, I spent more time filtering out all the bullshit and snake oil sales pitches than I actually spent dieting or in the gym.

That was quite some time filtering. The bodybuilding and fitness industry is absolutely plagued with misinformation and bullshit I suspect is mostly peddled by the companies trying to soak every last cent out of those that are essentially trying to "min-max" their fitness. But that's what you get for having a market that is not answerable to government standards of safety or accuracy.

LetalisK:

Then we have this: http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-500368_162-712605.html

I was actually in a discussion with someone who used that link, and this is probably more on a personal note, but it amazed me that they didn't even read their own link. It says that the study shows a link between aspartame and certain forms of cancer in mice. If one were to only read the headline and a paragraph or two, as it seems many people do, it would seem aspartame is in fact very bad for you. That's just how the news works though, sensationalism gets views. But then the article actually goes on to heavily qualify the results and show that these results are an outlier and that the study will need to be redone.

Too often I find people see a legitimate study say something and assume it's absolutely true without realizing that on most subjects there are going to be some dissenting studies. That's why it's important to consider the whole body of research on a subject and see where the consensus lies. Quite frankly, the scare against aspartame is simply pop-science that some people believe is true because its been told to them so many times. What I still don't understand is why this myth persists so strongly. I have to assume there are people profiting from such sensationalist claims and hoaxes, because I can see no other reason why.

You mean they did pretty much the same thing (well, alright, very similar) with Aspartame as they did with saccharin? Figures.

Media gets science wrong, as usual.

DrVornoff:

I actually have a friend who genuinely believes that aspartame turns into styrofoam when metabolized and clogs up your blood vessels. He seriously believes this. No surprise, he's a fitness nut. When I started trying to get in shape, I spent more time filtering out all the bullshit and snake oil sales pitches than I actually spent dieting or in the gym.

I'm pretty into fitness and I can't stand the sort of people who harp on about Bro-science..
If anything the more I got into physical fitness over the years the more scientific papers I read so that I could actually do research into protein powders to begin with but then I kept doing it just to be knowledgeable on things and be able to back any claims I make up.

The only bad part about diet drinks is that you end up retaining water if I remember correctly.

Katatori-kun:

LetalisK:

evilneko:

Common misconception, it's not actually true.

yeah, I know this, but I wanted to see why he thinks that so I don't argue against a point he wasn't going to make. The keyword I'm looking for is "aspartame".

Hey, go ahead and argue it. I'm not on his side but I'm happy to read more information about anything nutrition-related.

----

As for the OP:

I agree with the intent, but not the plan. We drink far, far too many sugary beverages in this country and it seems that this more than anything else is a factor in our obesity epidemic. And it's entirely unnecessary.

For example, the vending machine outside my apartment only dispenses 20oz (.5 L) Colas. That's 240 calories per bottle. I've been to restaurants and had filling meals for only a little more than double that. No one needs to drink half a meal's worth of calories in a single beverage. No one needs a 32 oz. cola.

Now that doesn't mean we need a ban. If anything, it's obvious that a ban is just going to provoke right-wing partisans to jerk their knees and proclaim that the whole healthy-eating movement is just another attempt at government control. Ah well, maybe we'll get lucky and they'll guzzle more Fizzyglug (TM) out of spite. And then spend the rest of their lives obese and suffering from severe kidney stone pain.

You are wrong, good sir. There is not a time when I don't need more soda! :D

crimson5pheonix:

You are wrong, good sir. There is not a time when I don't need more soda! :D

Damn straight, good sir! Let us poor some more coke and rejoice that we do not live in NYC!

OT: Out of all the possible distopian futures I thought might come to pass, the one from Demolition Man was not even in my top 20. Guess I need to revise my list...

BreakfastMan:

crimson5pheonix:

You are wrong, good sir. There is not a time when I don't need more soda! :D

Damn straight, good sir! Let us poor some more coke and rejoice that we do not live in NYC!

OT: Out of all the possible distopian futures I thought might come to pass, the one from Demolition Man was not even in my top 20. Guess I need to revise my list...

Personally, I prefer the air Dr Pepper. Especially the cane sugar ones.

EDIT: Now if you excuse me, I have reservations at McDonald's.

crimson5pheonix:

BreakfastMan:

crimson5pheonix:

You are wrong, good sir. There is not a time when I don't need more soda! :D

Damn straight, good sir! Let us poor some more coke and rejoice that we do not live in NYC!

OT: Out of all the possible distopian futures I thought might come to pass, the one from Demolition Man was not even in my top 20. Guess I need to revise my list...

Personally, I prefer the air Dr Pepper. Especially the cane sugar ones.

I wish I could get those where I live. I tell ya, it is really damn hard to find cane sodas where I live. The only ones I have found are cane pepsi and mountain dew. :/

BreakfastMan:

crimson5pheonix:

BreakfastMan:

Damn straight, good sir! Let us poor some more coke and rejoice that we do not live in NYC!

OT: Out of all the possible distopian futures I thought might come to pass, the one from Demolition Man was not even in my top 20. Guess I need to revise my list...

Personally, I prefer the air Dr Pepper. Especially the cane sugar ones.

I wish I could get those where I live. I tell ya, it is really damn hard to find cane sodas where I live. The only ones I have found are cane pepsi and mountain dew. :/

Hey, the only reliable supply of sugar DP is a small corner store 80 miles away. I don't get my DP often :(

Otherwise, Spec's and HEB are likely to have cane sugar sodas.

TheDarkEricDraven:
Nooooooooooooooooooo! I live on large sodas! We can't let this take off, I need my surgery treats, damn it!

You scare me if surgery is a treat for you. ;)

OT: The man is an idiot. But then, that's not a recent opinion, so...

I think that people would be better off without large amounts of soda, juice, or coffee in their diets but everyone ought to be free to make their own decisions.

Anyways, after LetalisK post about diet soda I got curious and wound up in wikipedia land. I guess there are studies which may show evidence that diet soda's do promote weight gain even without the sugar.

I'm very biased. I treat Soda like it's liquid cancer.

Polarity27:

TheDarkEricDraven:
Nooooooooooooooooooo! I live on large sodas! We can't let this take off, I need my surgery treats, damn it!

You scare me if surgery is a treat for you. ;)

I...I don't know what you mean...

/hides embarrassment and quietly edits post

I don't get why people are opposed to this. Almost half of all Americans are obese and over two-thirds are fat. That's right, if you have a healthy weight and you're American, you are but a small minority, almost as small a minority as smokers.

Secondly, Bloombergs administration has actually done research into this, if you look it up. One example:
http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/prevention/injury_prevention/information_for_action/docs/2011-5_ifa_report.pdf
Some findings for instance were that with every soda a child consumes daily, the chances for obesity increase by 60%. Not in the study I quoted, but also known, is that sugar consumption can cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, I think I remember a physician who busies himself exclusively with the subject who found that about a third of the cases can be solved with a strict diet to limit sugar intake. Now he earns his wage writing those diets, so maybe he exagerates a little, but the fact that it happens at all is quite obvious grounds for action.

The rates of drinking soda are also quite high; already 28% daily for age category 2-5. That's right, toddlers who don't even have permanent teeth yet are already drinking drinks loaded with sugar.

Then another thing: these drinks are actually quite energy rich. The McDonalds large mentioned above is some 942 ml, almost a litre, and at 42 kcal per 100 ml for coca cola as a model for soda drinks, that means a McDonalds large soda contains some 400 kcal. That's a fifth of a woman's daily need for energy.


To bring in another example of quantity limitation: Recently sales of packs of 100 of paracetamol were banned on the grounds of them being used for suicide.

I found it weird. Why would someone want to do that? People who want to kill themselves will just buy two packs won't they? Well, turned out they'd done it before in the UK and it actually reduced the number of paracetamol suicides quite significantly, and the ban here only came after learning those stats. Well, if it does do something, then why not? Having to get an additional pack if I've gotten myself beat up during training again doesn't outweigh people dying I'd say.

That's why I think this ban actually has a good chance of working. You'd expect sugar-addicted Americans to just get more refills, but I think they won't. Finishing a package is still a sort of barier around which consumption takes form. It's harder to get a second cup than to keep drinking after all.


And if the US has any hope of ever tackling the obesity epidemic, this is likely the sort of measures that will be needed.

Yeah, sure, trample all over individual rights and personal responsibility to no proven effect.

It's none of his business what people choose to drink. Everyone know that soda isn't healthy, so it's not like he's saving people from striking contracts whose consequences they couldn't ever wrap their minds around here. Only forcibly and patronizingly telling them how and how not to live their own lives.

Yeah, I agree that if you think alcohol and tobacco need to be regulated for public health then sugar water drinks can be put in the same class as alcohol. They are not intoxicating in the same way but the damage to health is still there and in my mind the threat to health is the better case for regulation than moralising about people getting drunk.

I think they should also ban adding salt to them then adding more sugar to cover the taste of the salt.

aPod:
I think that people would be better off without large amounts of soda, juice, or coffee in their diets but everyone ought to be free to make their own decisions.

Agreed. The thing about obesity is that you're not going to beat it by legislating what people eat. If it's going to be beaten, it's going to be a result of education. Sadly, the government is quite big on the former and terrible at the latter since their food guides/pyramids/my plate might as well be named the government guide to getting fat.

Anyways, after LetalisK post about diet soda I got curious and wound up in wikipedia land. I guess there are studies which may show evidence that diet soda's do promote weight gain even without the sugar.

The thing that causes fat storage more than anything else is spiking blood insulin, typically caused by spiking blood glucose as a result of consuming things like sugar or wheat products (including whole grains). I've heard of some people who will have insulin spikes just from artificial sweeteners, without their blood glucose spiking dramatically, but I never looked into it too much. I tend to avoid things like diet pop and foods which are artificially sweetened so how much truth there is to that was never very relevant to me. That said, I've seen the claim mentioned by people I know are generally quite well informed and read on nutritional science so there probably is evidence and studies out there supporting the claim. I've simply never searched for them to see if they're any good or simply some junk science.

Blablahb:
To bring in another example of quantity limitation: Recently sales of packs of 100 of paracetamol were banned on the grounds of them being used for suicide.

I found it weird. Why would someone want to do that? People who want to kill themselves will just buy two packs won't they? Well, turned out they'd done it before in the UK and it actually reduced the number of paracetamol suicides quite significantly, and the ban here only came after learning those stats. Well, if it does do something, then why not? Having to get an additional pack if I've gotten myself beat up during training again doesn't outweigh people dying I'd say.

Thing is, you're comparing apples to oranges. A 32oz pop isn't likely to kill someone right now. Moreover, trying to kill yourself with some drugs isn't necessarily going to make you want to take more right away once those are gone because you feel like you need them. One of the biggest problems with constantly spiking blood glucose is the inevitable crash that follows. You end up feeling low on energy AND hungry, which is going to send those who drink pop regularly right back to get another cup or bottle, and probably some other type of snack which is high in sugar or starches which have the same effect. It's a vicious cycle people can end up trapped in when eating really sugary food because it stimulates them to want to eat and drink more. And most people won't realize it's happening, even though they know sugar is bad for them.

This is why legislation isn't going to stop anything unless it were to ban such food and drinks outright, but I don't think the government should have any business saying what we can and can't eat since there dietary recommendations aren't very good to begin with, and frankly, if I want to have the occasional ice cream sundae or root beer, the government can fuck right off because I'm going to have it, even though I know more about nutrition than the average person and 90% of the time I eat very well. Education is key, not legislation.

Doesn't go for diet coke?

Well that's just fucking beautiful. Now people are gonna go down with chronic migraine and cancer instead of obesity.

What a great idea.

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