Sugary Drink Ban: Good or Bad? You Decide.

06.30.2012

With the announcement of the looming soda ban proposed by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, much heated hubbub and finger-pointing has filled television and talk radio. If approved, the ban would prohibit the sale of sugary soft drinks over 16 ounces. It targets restaurants and movie theaters, but also leaves plenty of gaping loopholes for soft drink lovers determined to have their way, anyway.

The ban is a response to the country's growing obesity epidemic, most likely intended to simply draw attention to the topic, and perhaps make it a smidgen more difficult to contribute to the problem. The ban is without a doubt a controversial issue. Some critics argue that the mayor should implement programs that promote exercise rather than banning certain foods; others say it is a case of government overstepping its boundaries.

With so much discussion about soft drinks circulating around, we thought it might be nice to provide you with a few solid facts on the topic. Feel free to contribute them to the next soda-ban-debate you find yourself in; and of course, to develop your own conclusions regarding governmental boundaries.

    ▪    A study conducted in 2006 reported that the average American drinks approximately 142 calories of sweetened drinks a day, or nearly 12 oz. This is roughly equivalent to consuming 15 teaspoons of sugar.
    ▪    Harvard School of Public Health states that drinking beverages sweetened with high-calorie sweeteners can "lead to weight gain and increase risk of type 2 diabetes."
    ▪    A study published in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal, reported that "men who drank one sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease."
    ▪    The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine states that "soft drink consumption may be a major factor for osteoporosis, as they are high in phosphates but contain virtually no calcium."
    ▪    A report published in Cancer Epidemiology reported an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in subjects who consumed soft drinks regularly.

Questions? Comments? Let us know your thoughts!