Would a Supersize Soda Ban Change Your Family’s Drinking Habits?

Mason has never had a soda, and I’m hoping to keep it that way for a long time. It’s not that I’m worried he’ll become obese if he drinks it–he’s still a tall string bean of a kid, even though he has a huge appetite–it’s a health issue. All that sugar is linked to Diabetes and heart disease. And since he loves milk and water, I don’t see any point in hooking him on a junk-drink.

And surely it’s my right as a parent to decide what my son will drink, including exactly how much of it he will consume, right?

Well, mostly.

A new law in New York City, where we live, now bans supersize non-diet soda, sweetened teas, and other high-calorie beverages (defined as anything larger than 16 ounces) from being sold in cafeterias, restaurants, theaters, and fast-food joints.

Although I’ve supported the gross-out ads that run on TV and are plastered on subway cars to encourage people to think twice before tossing back a sugary drink–Americans do drink too much soda–this ban annoys me for several reasons:

* Mayor Michael Bloomberg has taken it upon himself to champion a law that tells New Yorkers what we can and cannot drink. (Remember, he’s also the one who decided to lock up formula in hospitals.) Why should he have that right?

* The ban isn’t very smart. People can just go to a place where free refills are offered and drink as much sugar as they wish. If there aren’t refills, they can purchase two sodas. Or, they can go to the store and buy a jumbo bottle of soda. If sugar is the real concern here, why not look at smart ways to better regulate sugar?

* If health is the key concern, why aren’t there limits on drinks with artificial sweeteners? A recent study showed that massive quantities of diet soda is linked to a higher risk of stroke and heart attack. Researchers also found that diet soda packs on the pounds, too.

Bottom line is that this law isn’t going to change what Mason drinks–or, frankly, what we drink in our household. We don’t drink mass quantities of soda, but if we wanted to, we would. I think it should be our choice what we consume, not the government’s decision.

Would a ban like this where you live influence how much soda your family drinks?

Photo: Glass of soda via uchschen/Shutterstock.com

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  1. by Cindy

    On September 14, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    No! I think this is an overreach of power…Big suprise there…It is the parents job to raise THEIR children not the governments…What ever happened to individual responsibilty? This is not the governments place…invasion into private sector for businesses, invasion of privacy, overreach of power given to them by US and invasion in your home. I am free and pay taxes, stay out of my familys personal life.

  2. by Will;iam Emory

    On September 14, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    While it may be good to protect others. We are losing our freedoms one by one. In this case its only four more ounces they are Banning. So its a way of telling everyone what they can or can’t do
    From what I have seen for the last thirty years. They are becoming Bolder in what you can or can can not do. It smacks of Socialism

  3. by Shirley C.

    On September 14, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    In texas we have some areas you can buy alcohol and others are a “Dry County”. If they banned soda, I would go somewhere else that did allow it. I don’t think its the sodas and sugary drinks that make people obese. Not entirely. It has a lot to do with family genes and so many lazy people that don’t exercise. And the government doesn’t have the right to tell us what we can and can’t drink.

  4. by Charlene

    On September 14, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    One of our freedoms being taken away! We need to fight to keep our freedoms!

  5. by Jennifer

    On September 14, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    My mind is boggled by the fact that pop is banned but cigarettes aren’t. I’ve never been to NYC, but I’m assuming they sell cigarettes there.

  6. by Rachel S

    On September 14, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    Would it change what we drink? No, because we tend not to drink much soda if any. I have let my son drink a soda on special occasions like his cousin’s birthday party, but otherwise I tend to have him avoid it. That being said, my husband does like to drink a good amount of soda, but that is his decision not mine.

    As you mentioned, the real issue here is not the soda, or even obesity it is the loss of freedom due to the government controlling how we live our lives. I believe I was put into this life to make my own choices and live with what consequences come of the choices I make. Having my government restrict my choices on what to eat to “save me” from my own decisions is not the way to go.

  7. by Steve

    On September 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    I love what New York is doing to help fight this epidemic. I think more people should educate themselves and their family on this problem we are facing. These drinks are not being banned all together so I don’t understand what the fuss is about. These drinks are a just a part to a whole when it comes to the serious problem of the American diet. It’s socially exceptable for people to be obese. And now I think it’s scary. Healthcare cost on obesity related diseases alone should be a reason for people to be pro antisuger drinks. This cost is distributed to all Americans regardless if they are healthy or not. Maybe there should just be a huge tax put on items that contribute to obesity. Then people who choose to enjoy these pleasures can pay their own health costs. I was technically considered obese and really didn’t pay it any mind. Then I had a beautiful daughter. My entire life changed. I didn’t want my daughter to grow up thinking it is ok and live a life where her health was a concern because her parents didn’t care about their health. I didn’t want her to grow up without a father. I took a stand on my health and lost 40 lbs and counting. I educated myself and realized how bad of shape I was in and how I got to this point. So now I eat better and watch what i drink. Water has saved my life and my families. Good job New York, save a life.

  8. by Ashley

    On September 14, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    YES! I think anything with too much sugar, and anything unnatural should have ben banned ages ago! We are in the Seattle area.

  9. by Steve

    On September 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    And please people! Why is meth illegal? Why is there laws against drinking and driving? Why can’t you do all the blow you want? Why is it ok for the government to get involved with these issues but not this one? It’s not illegal to drink sugary drinks. It’s not illegal to purchase and consume 600 16oz sodas.

  10. by Dez

    On September 14, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    No this would not change my families drinking habits but what happens if 1 they decide to get rid of all sugary drinks! Im highly allergic to artificial sugar and causes me to have seziures and bad ones. I have a little sip with it in or eat something and i have one so your telling i cant have a drink with something that has something made in nature and . A lot of times i pass out cause my sugar drops. Whos to say next time they ban all sugar. Now my kids drink plenty of water an dmilk but occasionally when we go out they may have a small soda but thats what they are used to already!

  11. by Valerie

    On September 15, 2012 at 7:23 am

    You stated that the ban is not very smart because people can figure out ways to get all the sugary drinks they want, but that’s not really the purpose of this ban. It is not meant to control what you can and can’t drink. It’s meant to control how large a drink restaurants can sell. Why? Because, psychologically, many people will order the largest drink because it’s the best deal and they’ll drink it. If it wasn’t available, a lot of people would just order the largest size that WAS available and drink that and not really care.
    And, at the moment, it’s the obesity epidemic that is of big concern, not the issues related to ingesting artificial, so I can understand the distinction. And the research is not all in agreement about whether artificial sweeteners can weight gain, but over-ingesting of sugary drinks certainly does.

  12. by Lori

    On September 20, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    I agree with you, Heather. Education about sugar, proper proportions, healthy foods, etc. seem like better ways to change habits than simply banning the size of a sugary drink, especially when, like you said, people can get free refills!

  13. by David

    On September 24, 2012 at 8:18 am

    While the idea behind the ban has merits, what people drink cannot be controlled by government. My children do not drink soda and we hardly do so there would not be any major issues if I could not get the 44 oz soda from 7-11 or the movies.

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