New York City officials have been pushing for an appeal to ban soda drinks over 16-ounces, however, the state’s highest court has finally denied the appeal.
The proposal worked its way up to the New York State Court of Appeals after already having been denied by two lower state courts.
The idea behind this proposal is simple enough: the obesity epidemic has become so extreme that previous N.Y. mayor, Michael Bloomberg, wanted to restrict the intake of soda, believing it was contributing to the problem. The ban would limit the size of drinks to 16-ounce cups.
Problems arose when the state found inconsistencies with drinks included on the list, such as including sports drinks and sweet teas while leaving out milkshakes and fruit juices.
Also, fast food and movie theater establishments would be affected by the ban, but grocery stores would not.
The inconsistencies would have mainly restricted small businesses in the area, while boosting that of the big chain companies.
This is not the way to solve the problem of obesity in America. Though the basis of the idea has some merit, the state court was right in shutting the proposal down.
First, this idea was only suggested to affect one city. Herein lies a major flaw, because the citizens can simply drive one town over to order a supersized soda. The only effect the proposal establishes is inconveniencing the citizens of N.Y.
Secondly, this proposal takes away choices. There is no freedom here. If the citizens want to consume 32-ounces of soda, they just need to order two 16-ounce cups.
Though the ban did not pass, we should still be mindful of the obesity epidemic. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one-third of U.S. adults are struggling with obesity. This epidemic causes problems such as heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
As New Yorkers brainstorm to find new solutions to the obesity problem, 23.6 percent of their population is overweight. Utah is even worse at 24.3 percent, with an estimated two percent growth just since 2010.
When calculating Utah’s 2012 census population of 2.85 million, almost one out of every four people in Utah is overweight.
Even though the ban did not pass in N.Y., we should all be watchful of the amount of soda and other sugary drinks we intake. As the old adage goes, a minute on the lips, a lifetime on the hips.