I’m sure you’ve heard the new idea in the fight against obesity in America. The Mayor of New York is proposing a ban on large servings of soda and other sugary drinks at restaurants, delis, sports arenas, and movie theaters. Soft drinks would be limited to 16 ounces. Is this a good move, or a move closer to a “nanny state”? The ban is expected to win approval and take effect as soon as March.
What would be banned? The ban would apply to sweetened drinks over 16 ounces that contain more than 25 calories per 8 ounces. (A 12-ounce can of Coke has about 140 calories. Plastic bottles of Coke and other soft drinks often contain 20 ounces.)
What would not be affected?
- Diet soda
- Any drink that’s at least 70 percent juice
- A drink that is at least half milk or milk substitute
- Starbucks Frappuccinos would probably be exempted because of their dairy content
- Slurpees and Big Gulp drinks at 7-Eleven wouldn’t be affected because the convenience stores are regulated as groceries
Why the fuss over giant sodas? We all know that Americans consume too many drinks with high-glycemic load, and tons of refined carbohydrates and sugar. High fructose corn syrup sweeteners now comprise more than 20 percent of total daily carbohydrate intake and 10 percent of daily total energy intake (an increase of more than 2100 percent.) These sweeteners have surpassed sucrose as the leading sweetener in the US food industry, especially for soft drinks, accounting for much of the rebound increase in carbohydrate consumption.
This has paralleled the upward trend of obesity and diabetes prevalence in the US. Evidence shows that high intake of sugar-sweetened foods in general contributes to weight gain.These sugar-sweetened foods are frequently consumed in liquid rather than solid forms (sodas.) The metabolic effects of fructose on weight gain and insulin resistance (development of adult onset diabetes) are hard to argue with.
So, I have to ask…to ban or not to ban?
- Dr. O
Click here to read more blogs from Dr. Sharon Orrange
Join the largest health conversation in 140 characters or less! Tweet what you want to talk about to @SharecareNow and let’s start chatting!
File under: In the News