Limit Sugary Beverage Sales in New York City

Sodas

Target: Commissioner Thomas Farley, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene

Goal: Restrict soda sales to 16 ounces or less in establishments regulated by the NYC Department of Health.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed a bold initiative to restrict the sale of sodas and other sugar-sweetened beverages to 16 ounces or less in establishments under the NYC Department of Health. The initiative comes in response to studies spotlighting sugary drinks as the number one target in the fight against obesity. Please sign this petition and support Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal in an effort to reduce obesity rates, educate youth on proper portion size, and combat America’s dependence on sugar.

The sugary beverage limit would only apply to establishments under the NYC Department of Health, which includes restaurants and movie theaters but not grocery and convenience stores. This leaves plenty of options for people to purchase super-sized beverages outside of eat-in settings. ABC News says the current default container size for soda is 20 ounces, more than triple the 6.5-ounce size that was once standard. The McDonald’s standard is 32 ounces; Burger King delivers a 42-ounce serving, and Regal movie theaters trumps them all with a 54-ounce soda. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) estimates that the average American drinks 40 gallons of sweetened liquids per year, factoring in sports drinks, vitamin waters, energy drinks and sweet teas.

Obviously, beverage companies and their advocacy groups, as well as some consumers, are against the limits, while health organizations like PreventObesity, health advocates, and personalities including former President Clinton have come out in support of the regulation. According the city’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 58% of New Yorkers are overweight or obese, and more than 20% of the city’s public school children are obese. The limit would force consumers to re-think their sugary beverage intake and spread a message of portion control and health-consciousness throughout the city.

Please sign this petition and support Mayor Bloomberg’s attempts at tackling high obesity rates one vice at a time.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Commissioner Farley,

Mayor Bloomberg’s recent proposal to limit sugary beverages to 16 ounces in NYC Department of Health-regulated establishments has garnered a lot of support from health agencies and experts. In a country where the average American drinks 40 gallons of sugary beverages per year, and a city with 58% of its population overweight or obese, it is now necessary to take bold action in the name of health. I’m not proposing that the initiative would end obesity, but I do think it would force consumers to re-think their choices in the face of a health ban on their favorite drink.

Without limits on harmful but legal vices, we have seen portions go from 6.5 ounces in 1916 to 54 ounces currently offered at Regal movie theaters. According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), container sizes have increased with marketing dollars. More than $2 billion a year are spent advertising sugary beverages to Americans, especially adolescents. With 20% of public NYC school children now obese it is clear where this epidemic will go without action. The chairman of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard Medical School says adolescents on average consume two times a much as the national average. That’s 80 gallons of sugar-based beverages a year.

Please support Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal and help the citizens of NYC do what they cannot do for themselves. Serve as a model to other cities by sending a health-conscious message to citizens that you care.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Archivo: Sodas.JPG – Wikipedia, le encyclopedia libre via Yahoo

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