Thursday, September 13th, 2012
“Are You Pouring On the Pounds?” That’s the question posed by advertisements plastered on New York City subway cars. The ads depict sugar packets and beverage containers bubbling over with globs of fat, and caution that excess sugar consumption is linked to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
New Yorkers will soon have to settle for chugging smaller sodas. The New York City Board of Health voted today to pass a ban on supersize soft drinks. The controversial ban, proposed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg last spring, imposes a 16-ounce limit on cups and bottles of non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other high-calorie beverages. The policy only applies to drinks sold at cafeterias, theaters, restaurants, and fast-food joints—meaning that you can still guzzle mega beverages sold at supermarkets or convenience stores. Dairy-based drinks get a free pass if they contain more than 50% milk.
Will the ban shrink our waistlines? Given that beverages are just one component of any diet, it’s hard to tell for sure. But sugar-packed drinks can definitely contribute to weight gain. There are about 240 calories in a 20-oz. Coke, compared to 200 in a 16-oz. one. The difference might not seem significant, but consider this: if you gulp down a soda a day, it adds up to an extra 14,600 calories per year. That’s enough to make me want to put down my straw.