by Marion Nestle
Jul 25 2012

Yesterday’s hearing on Big Soda ban

I’m out of town but learned about the hearing by e-mail and twitter (thanks to senders), and I’ve read the coverage in Huffington Post,  the Christian Science Monitor, and the Toronto Star.

One picture says it all:

  • Nancy Huehnergarth

    If I had to sum up the industry opposition expressed at the NYC sugary drink portion cap hearing yesterday it would be:

    - We need more focus on physical activity and less on fizzy drinks
    - Education is the answer to NYC’s obesity crisis and we have the programs in place to do that!
    - Mayor Bloomberg is trampling on consumer freedom
    - This measure is a job killer.

    And here’s my rebuttal:

    - There is absolutely no evidence that an increase in physical activity, without a significant change in daily diet, will have an impact on obesity and Body Mass Indices
    - If education worked, the consumption rate of sugary beverages would have already dropped significantly in NYC. The city has been running an excellent sugary drink education campaign for well over a year. Education alone is a failure. We need environmental change.
    - Industry has set the out-of-whack norms for sugary drink sizes in order to increase their profits. Remember, 8 oz. is a single serving of a sugary drink and you can’t buy that anywhere — not even on a kid’s menu. At fast food outlets in NYC, 16 ounces is often the “small” size while 32 to 64 ounces is the “large.” Consumer choice is a myth as our choice is exactly what industry chooses to offer us, not what we want, need or want to pay for.
    - No one presented any data with proof that a 16 ounce portion cap on sugary drinks would result in job loss. Industry always claims job loss will occur whenever they oppose any policy. It’s a smokescreen designed to manipulate legislators and scare consumers.

    I’m hopeful that the NYC Board of Health will approve the measure to bring portion sizes back to normal, and set a healthy example for the rest of the nation.

  • Beth

    And isn’t it interesting that a very slender model was chosen for this ad?

  • Cathy Richards

    Our rebuttal should be the same representation of a “soda drinker of liberty”, but make the statue obese.

  • John

    Yes, I am sure the t-shirt model is slamming down 64 oz soft drinks!

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  • Margaret

    I’ve been seeing these shirts on movie theater employees – has anyone else seen that? It seems to be very logical, last I heard theaters make most of their money from refreshment sales, and this legislation would totally undercut the validity of the super-sized cup holder.