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
  • July 25, 2012
  • 10:10 am

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
  • July 26, 2012
  • 10:50 am

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

  • Cathy Richards
  • July 26, 2012
  • 12:18 pm

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

  • John
  • July 27, 2012
  • 10:38 am

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

[...] and Public Health at the New York University, tweeted a link to her blog with a post on the coverage of the hearing together with an image which she believes “says it [...]

  • Margaret
  • August 3, 2012
  • 2:36 pm

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.

Leave a comment