Headlines have been predicting New York’s Mayor Bloomberg’s ban on soda and sugary drinks for quite some time. But some, like filmmaker Casey Neistat, don’t really believe the soda ban will make much of a difference. So much so, that Neistat decided to make a film about over at the NY Times chastising the mayor’s proposal which could pass this coming Thursday.
If you’re unfamiliar with the ban, you should know that it’s an effort to prohibit the sale of large sugary drinks in city restaurants, stadiums and movie theaters. But as Neistat points out, the majority of places where soda is accessible would be exempt.
“The proposal would not include alcohol, fruit juices or any diet soda. Grocery stores and convenience stores would be exempt. Iced coffee and other beverages where the sugar is added by the customer would remain unaffected. Drinks are also exempt if they contain more than 50 percent milk, which would most likely allow Dunkin’ Donuts to sell Coolattas, and Starbucks Frappuccinos, as long as they can prove the milk content is there. Buying multiple 16-ounce drinks is also O.K. The ban will certainly not stop people from getting exactly what they want, as Mayor Bloomberg has made clear.”
So is this attempt at fighting obesity, really an attempt?
Bloomberg rationalizes his proposal by citing skyrocketing obesity rates. The epidemic affects 58 percent of adults and results in 5800 deaths a year in New York alone. He suggests that making a move to educate and limit the serving sizes will drastically affect the intake of sugar that Americans consume. But consumers don’t agree, and with rallies popping up all over the place to protest the ban on their personal freedoms, it may come as no surprise if the proposal doesn’t pass.
So what would really be effective strategy for eradicating obesity? Is Bloomberg right? Or does Neistat make a good argument? What do you think?