13:19 15 September 2012
The U.S. has seen a breakthrough with its anti-obesity campaign, as New York City has become the first to pass a ban on super-sized soda drinks being sold in restaurants and eateries. The ban was approved on Thursday, where eight health board members passed the notion.
It is expected the ban will take effect as of March 2013, where any sugary drink above 0.5litres is to cease being sold to the public. This excludes grocery and convenience stores, including popular chain ‘7-Eleven’, and does not apply to alcohol, diet sodas or drinks containing at least 70per cent juice.
The idea was championed by the ‘Big Apple’s’ Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who is renowned for his efforts in tackling New Yorker health issues. Those who break the law are to face a fine of £124.
However, as reported by American media organisation Time, a poll issued by the New York Times in August shows 60per cent of New Yorkers opposed the ban. Many have also vowed to contest the law in court.
“We are smart enough to make our own decisions about what to eat and drink,” said Liz Berman, chair of New Yorkers for Beverage Choices, in a statement.
It is understood much ambiguity comes because some feel sugary drinks are being singled out, saying there are other contributory factors to obesity and its related health issues, with many pointing their fingers at the likes of sweets.
The N.Y. City health board are targeting fizzy sodas based on information that suggests sugary drinks contribute to consumer’s obesity levels, with evidence proving the drinks are to blame for 43per cent of the added sugar in the average American diet.
As reported by the BBC, about 30per cent of Americans are obese. Also, reports suggest that around 10per cent of US healthcare costs are linked to obesity-related disease.
During Mr Bloomberg’s ten years in office N.Y. City was among the first to get chain restaurants to issue calorie counts on menus.
Mr. Bloomberg was also responsible for banning public smoking from some city areas, and for supporting the idea that hospitals should lock away baby formulas in an effort to encourage breast-feeding.
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