Obesity has become a major problem in the United States. Not only does obesity decrease one’s quality of life, but it can also lead to fatal diseases such as diabetes, heart disease or even cancer. There are many factors that can lead to obesity, such as diet, exercise and genetics. One of the leading causes of obesity is sugar intake, which is mainly consumed through drinking soda. The New York Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule attempted to regulate the size of soft drinks being sold to New Yorkers. Better known as the Soda Ban, this regulation of soft drinks would help to reduce the obesity epidemic and battle one of the leading causes of obesity.
Soda and other sugary drinks lead to America’s detrimental problem of obesity. Between the 1950s and today, the size of a soft-drink container increased from 6.5 oz to 42 oz (“Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet”). This dramatic increase in bottle size has led to a dramatic increase in soft-drink consumption. This increase in soft-drink consumption has become a large factor in America’s obesity epidemic. To combat obesity, reducing the size of soft-drink containers will reduce soft-drink consumption.
Image Source: Spector, 2013
One counterclaim to this argument might be that limiting the amount of soda in one container will not deter people from buying another container of soda. Because obesity is a complex problem that involves many factors, many might say that it is not entirely correct to blame any one food product or beverage for the epidemic of obesity. The best way to lead a healthy lifestyle is through diet and exercise, with a balance between the calories consumed and the calories burned (“Questions & Answers”). Yes, you can always buy another drink; however, buying another drink means spending more money, taking more trips to the supermarket or corner store, and making more of an effort to purchase more soda. Not only would people be doubling the amount of money they’re spending, but they would also have to make time in their busy schedules to go and get another soft-drink. Most people are not willing to do this for any one food product or beverage. While it is not an end-all be-all solution to ending obesity, the soda ban a step in the right direction.
Furthermore, limiting the size of soft-drink containers benefits children the most. Children in the US averaged 224 calories per day from soft-drinks between 1999 to 2004, which is nearly 11% of their daily calorie intake (“Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet”). From 1989 to 2008, the caloric intake from sugary beverages increased by 60%, from 130 to 209 per day. In addition, the amount of children consuming soft-drinks rose from 79% to 91% (“Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet”). Because children are consuming more and more sugary beverages, more and more children are considered obese. By limiting the amount of soft-drinks they are able to get ahold of, the soda ban is ensuring that these children have a healthier future. Many might say that children could find a way to get ahold of another can or bottle of soda, thus negating the limitation, but it would be to the detriment of their or their parent’s wallet.
The New York Soda Ban will greatly benefit the population of New York City in the long run. Not only will it limit the amount of calories that one consumers by drinking soft drinks, but it will also limit the amount of sugar consumed by drinking soft drinks. Regulating the size of sugary beverages allows for the population to reduce overall sugar and calorie intake, which will lead to a healthier population and a healthier future. The New York Soda Ban should not only be implemented in New York City, but across the country. While it may not be the final step in the battle to end obesity, it is a step in the right direction.
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Spector, Gina. “New Yorkers Will Be Significantly Fatter Because Of The Soda Ban Repeal.” The Business Insider. N.p., 14 Mar. 2013. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
"Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet." The Nutrition Source. N.p., 26 May 2015. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.
"Questions & Answers." Soft Drinks and Obesity - Q&As | American Beverage Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2017.