I wonder how major chain restaurants would loophole themselves out of this regulation if it passed. Add a little fruit juice to the soda mix and call it something other then soda like suice? Sell 10 or 12 ounce cups or bottles of soda for the price of the present day 20 ounces and sell them at buy one/get one free? Do you think this limited ban of soda consumption will work in controlling the obesity epidemic?
The chain restaurants won't need a loophole.
The ban is only on selling super-sized surgery drinks--those over 16 oz in size. But nothing will stop a person from buying more than one 16 oz soda, if they can't live without 32 oz of soda, and the chains can still give free refills if that's their policy.
And the restaurants can make more money by raising the prices on the smaller sized drinks, so they shouldn't complain too much.
I don't think this will make much of a dent in the obesity epidemic, but I do think it may help to alter the super-sized mentality for drinks loaded with sugar--people will grow accustomed to the smaller sizes, and, for those who were consuming the mega-sizes, they'll likely grow accustomed to being satisfied with a little less. Those who can't, can always buy more than one to satisfy their craving.
I do think portion sizes--and that includes sugary drinks, as well as a lot of other things--have continued to grow. And as those portion sizes have grown, so has the size of people's waistlines. Portion size does contribute to obesity, and other health problems.
I agree with the other efforts Bloomberg has made--getting the trans-fats out, and getting calorie counts posted--and I think this super-size sugary drink ban is another move in the right direction. Even if it doesn't affect obesity much, it helps to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of excessive sugar consumption.
A 32 oz Coca-Cola--what McDonald's calls a "large" size has 86 grams of sugar, and 7/11's "Big Gulp" of Coke has 91 grams of sugar--that's the equivalent of over 20 teaspoons of sugar in a drink that size--a whopping amount of sugar. Bloomberg's ban would affect restaurants but not convenience stores like 7/11.
Two-thirds of American adults and over half of Canadians are overweight or obese (1-2). In addition to the significant cost it imposes on the nation's health care system, obesity at any age increases the risk of many chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular disease, some types of cancer, and type 2 diabetes, and can significantly worsen quality of life.
Although obesity is caused by myriad of factors, there is a large body of evidence suggesting that a significant contributor to consumption of extra calories over the last three decades is the over-consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages including soda, sports and energy drinks, fruit drinks, and enhanced waters. Research indicates that Americans consume nearly 200-300 more calories per day than 30 years ago, with the largest single increase in calories due to sugar-sweetened beverages. Calories from sugar-sweetened beverage are empty calories because they are typically devoid of nutrients other than simple sugar. In contrast, 100% fruit juices, while containing natural sugars, do often contain vitamins and minerals. Research also suggests that sugar-sweetened beverages fail to produce the feeling of satiety that occurs from calories derived from solid foods, thus potentially contributing to overeating.
The substantial increase in calorie intake from sugar-sweetened beverages is explained in part by increasing portion size: the 6 1/2 ounce single serving bottle enjoyed in the 1960s has given way to the 20 ounce drink found in vending machines and store cold cases, and to the 20-32 ounce drinks in chain stores and restaurants. The New York initiative specifically targets this problem and attempts to bring serving sizes of these beverages back to a more reasonable range. Although the relationship between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and increased calorie intake is strong, it should be noted that not all research demonstrates a link between sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and obesity.
Sugar-sweetened beverages have also been demonstrated to have an adverse effect on obesity-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension. In a study of 91,249 women followed for 8 years, those who consumed one or more servings of soft drink per day were twice as likely as those who consumed <1 serving per month to develop diabetes. These effects remained significant after controlling for BMI, energy intake and other potential confounders. Studies have also found associations between sugar-sweetened beverage intake and blood pressure.