John Curley: NYC's ban on big drinks is a buston September 13, 2012 @ 10:51 am (Updated: 11:13 am - 10/3/12 )
The restrictions put a 16-ounce size limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other calorie-packed beverages.
The ban applies in fast-food joints, movie houses and Broadway theaters, workplace cafeterias, and most other places selling prepared food.
On Twitter, Mayor Michael Bloomberg calls it "the single biggest step any gov't has taken to curb #obesity. It will help save lives."
Will it work? KIRO Host David Boze says he lost 20 pounds just by switching to diet soda, but he says he doesn't support the ban.
"I'm not in favor then of telling people they can't have a larger Coke if they want."
Instead of an outright ban, some are proposing increased taxes on bigger beverages to keep people from buying them. But KIRO host John Curley says it's clear from cigarettes that sin taxes don't work.
"They will continue to buy it and it doesn't matter what you charge on it, they will spend the money on it," Curley says. "So what you're going to end up with is they're just as fat, but they're now more poor."
Advocates of the ban say in addition to helping battle the bulge, it could ultimately save us all money spent on health care related to obesity. But Curley says until the system actually penalizes people for their poor health choices, little will change.
"If all of a sudden you had to pay for your massive coronary, you may be less likely to eat the junk. But you don't care because you don't have to pay for it, so you'll eat whatever junk you want. And then while they're putting the paddles on you, you'll have them use the same paddles to toast your bread," Curley says.
The ban won't go into effect without a fight. A soft-drink industry sponsored group called New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, which says it has gathered more than 250,000 signatures on petitions opposing the soda plan, is considering a lawsuit and exploring legislative options for challenging the plan.
Soda makers and sellers say the plan unfairly singles out soft drinks as culprits for the nation's fat problem, represents an overweening government effort to regulate behavior and is so patchy as to be pointless. Because of the web of who regulates what, it would affect a belly-buster regular soda sold at a sports arena, but not a 7-Eleven Big Gulp, for instance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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