Decades ago, California enacted automotive emissions standards that forced automakers across the country to comply, or be forced to inefficiently make one car that met California’s rules, and another car for the rest of the nation. The controls have helped reduce carbon emissions with little affect to auto performance or cost.
In 2006 New York City became the nation’s first city to ban artery-clogging artificial trans fats at restaurants. In doing so, it enacted what also became a defacto nationwide ban. Does anyone miss them or even remember what trans-fat fries tasted like?
A now, New York City is taking the lead again with plans to enact a ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks with the hopes of changing habits by encouraging the consumption of less sugary drinks.
To help stem the tide of a growing obesity epidemic, the ban will raise awareness of the amount of sugar in drinks by banning large portions at restaurants, delis, fast-food franchises sports arenas, movie theaters and even street carts—all locations regulated by the city’s health department.
They’re targeting the sale of sweetened drinks larger than 16 fluid ounces (smaller than a common soda bottle). With diet sodas, fruit juices and dairy-based drinks like milkshakes not included in the ban, it’s hoped that people will be encouraged to switch over to less-sugary alternatives if they want to drink-up.
“New York City is not about wringing your hands; it’s about doing something,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is quoted as saying. “I think that’s what the public wants the mayor to do.”
Sadly, the beverage industry opposes the ban. A spokesman for the New York City Beverage Association Stefan Friedman, said “The New York City health department’s unhealthy obsession with attacking soft drinks is again pushing them over the top…It’s time for serious health professionals to move on and seek solutions that are going to actually curb obesity. These zealous proposals just distract from the hard work that needs to be done on this front.”
More at The New York Times