Bloomberg's proposed super-size soda ban is latest attack on portion size in war against obesity

New York City mayor seeks to limit the size of sugary beverages but the plan draws scorn from the soft drink industry and heightens the debate about how involved government should be in efforts to "steer individual behavior in the name of health."

The Washington Post: New Tactic In War On Obesity: Attack Portion Size
This past week, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I) tried a new tactic: He proposed limiting sugary drinks sold by restaurants, cinemas, street vendors and stadiums in his city to 16 ounces. (Grocery stores would be exempt.) … The move intensified the debate over how far government should go to steer individual behavior in the name of health and drew immediate scorn from the $75 billion-per-year soft drink industry (Vastag and Aizenman, 6/2).

The New York Times: Soda Industry Maps Strategy To Defeat Bloomberg Plan To Ban Super-Size Drinks
The industry was blindsided this week when Mr. Bloomberg introduced a totally new tactic in his campaign: an outright ban on sales of large-size sweetened beverages at virtually all of the city's restaurants, street carts and theaters. Now the industry's army of lobbyists and researchers, who have proven adept at combating other government regulatory efforts, find themselves unexpectedly scrambling to find the right counterattack to this new front in a growing national debate over the health of their products (Grynbaum, 6/2).

The Hill: Mayor Bloomberg's Hard Line On Soft Drinks Has Beverage Industry Shook Up
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposed ban on large sodas put big beverage companies back on the defensive this week -; an increasingly familiar spot for the industry. Anti-obesity advocates have homed in on soft drinks over roughly the past five years, and Bloomberg described his proposal as a way for the city to take immediate action to curb obesity. He wants to ban sodas larger than 16 ounces at restaurants and movie theaters (Baker, 6/2).

Reuters: NY Mayor Blasts Sugar Ban Critics: 'That's A Lot Of Soda"
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg offered a full-throated defense of his proposed ban on large-size sugary sodas on Friday, calling criticism of the proposal "ridiculous" and saying his city is again leading the way in taking on critical health issues. "I look across this country, and people are obese, and everybody wrings their hands, and nobody's willing to do something about it," Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show (Francescani, 6/1).

Denver Post: New York Soda Ban Will Boost Colorado Efforts
Colorado eliminated the sales tax exemption for candy and soda in 2010, at the urging of then Gov. Bill Ritter, who couched it more as a budget balancing act than a food crusade. But that alone was highly controversial, and brought a renewed round of debate about whether the "nanny state" had once again gone too far. This year, legislators debated a ban on trans fat in school foods (Booth, 6/1).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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